David Sherrill and Team Work with Google to Debut Software Making Quantum Computers More Accessible to Chemists

Google unveiled software aimed at making it easier for scientists to use quantum computers in a move designed to give a boost to the nascent industry.

The software, which is open-source and free to use, could be used by chemists and materials scientists to adapt algorithms and equations to run on quantum computers, which could in theory be orders of magnitude more powerful than conventional supercomputers.

Called OpenFermion, the new software contains a library of algorithms for simulating how electrons interact, which is important for work in both chemistry and materials science, on a quantum computer. Until now, these interactions could only be simulated on powerful conventional computers. Chemists would have to team up with specialized quantum developers and do a lot of coding to be able to run the equations on a quantum machine. But Google and the other developers are releasing two plug-ins that allow OpenFermion to directly translate algorithms from two of the most popular conventional simulators, Psi4 and PySCF, to run on a quantum computer.

Psi4 is an open-source quantum chemistry code developed by a multi-institution team led by Dr. David Sherrill at Georgia Tech. Dr. Sherrill worked with the Google consortium, which includes ETH Zurich, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, IBM, and others this summer to assist them in utilizing Psi4 with the OpenFermion project. "We are very happy that our cooperation with them is paying off," said Sherrill. The project promises to markedly accelerate research by putting important tools within the reach of more researchers without specialized coding skills or the resources to undertake time-consuming rewriting of essential algorithms.

Read the full article at Bloomberg Technology.

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