Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2011;1:88. doi: 10.1038/srep00088. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Solving quantum ground-state problems with nuclear magnetic resonance.

Author information

Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230036, People's Republic of China.

Erratum in

  • Sci Rep. 2012;2:911.


Quantum ground-state problems are computationally hard problems for general many-body Hamiltonians; there is no classical or quantum algorithm known to be able to solve them efficiently. Nevertheless, if a trial wavefunction approximating the ground state is available, as often happens for many problems in physics and chemistry, a quantum computer could employ this trial wavefunction to project the ground state by means of the phase estimation algorithm (PEA). We performed an experimental realization of this idea by implementing a variational-wavefunction approach to solve the ground-state problem of the Heisenberg spin model with an NMR quantum simulator. Our iterative phase estimation procedure yields a high accuracy for the eigenenergies (to the 10⁻⁵ decimal digit). The ground-state fidelity was distilled to be more than 80%, and the singlet-to-triplet switching near the critical field is reliably captured. This result shows that quantum simulators can better leverage classical trial wave functions than classical computers.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center