Quantum Algorithms for Simulating Nuclear Effective Field Theories

TitleQuantum Algorithms for Simulating Nuclear Effective Field Theories
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsWatson, JD, Bringewatt, J, Shaw, AF, Childs, AM, Gorshkov, AV, Davoudi, Z
Date Published12/8/2023

Quantum computers offer the potential to simulate nuclear processes that are classically intractable. With the goal of understanding the necessary quantum resources, we employ state-of-the-art Hamiltonian-simulation methods, and conduct a thorough algorithmic analysis, to estimate the qubit and gate costs to simulate low-energy effective field theories (EFTs) of nuclear physics. In particular, within the framework of nuclear lattice EFT, we obtain simulation costs for the leading-order pionless and pionful EFTs. We consider both static pions represented by a one-pion-exchange potential between the nucleons, and dynamical pions represented by relativistic bosonic fields coupled to non-relativistic nucleons. We examine the resource costs for the tasks of time evolution and energy estimation for physically relevant scales. We account for model errors associated with truncating either long-range interactions in the one-pion-exchange EFT or the pionic Hilbert space in the dynamical-pion EFT, and for algorithmic errors associated with product-formula approximations and quantum phase estimation. Our results show that the pionless EFT is the least costly to simulate and the dynamical-pion theory is the costliest. We demonstrate how symmetries of the low-energy nuclear Hamiltonians can be utilized to obtain tighter error bounds on the simulation algorithm. By retaining the locality of nucleonic interactions when mapped to qubits, we achieve reduced circuit depth and substantial parallelization. We further develop new methods to bound the algorithmic error for classes of fermionic Hamiltonians that preserve the number of fermions, and demonstrate that reasonably tight Trotter error bounds can be achieved by explicitly computing nested commutators of Hamiltonian terms. This work highlights the importance of combining physics insights and algorithmic advancement in reducing quantum-simulation costs.