Simulations of Subatomic Many-Body Physics on a Quantum Frequency Processor

Simulating complex many-body quantum phenomena is a major scientific impetus behind the development of quantum computing, and a range of technologies are being explored to address such systems. We present the results of the largest photonics-based simulation to date, applied in the context of subatomic physics. Using an all-optical quantum frequency processor, the ground-state energies of light nuclei including the triton (3H), 3He, and the alpha particle (4He) are computed. Complementing these calculations and utilizing a 68-dimensional Hilbert space, our photonic simulator is used to perform sub-nucleon calculations of the two-body and three-body forces between heavy mesons in the Schwinger model. This work is a first step in simulating subatomic many-body physics on quantum frequency processors—augmenting classical computations that bridge scales from quarks to nuclei.[Image (left) was created by Pavel Lougovski.]