PhD Fellowship on the Simulation of atomic nuclei and their constituents with quantum computers

Contact person: Dr Denis Lacroix (Directeur de recherche CNRS)

IJCLab –Paris Saclay University, CNRS/IN2P3, 91405 Orsay, France

Application Email:            Phone: 0169157151

In recent years, we  experienced the arrival of the first quantum computer (QC) demonstrators such as those developed by IBM or Google. Overall, this field is experiencing a new boost on a global scale. The programming on these  prototypes of quantum computers remains today a challenge in particular concerning adapted algorithms and control of the quantum noise inherent to these computers. Nevertheless, in the next decade, these  computers as well as the new associated algorithms may hypothetically provide computing power hitherto unequaled in terms of speed and storage.It seems timely to investigate whether the nuclear quantum many-body problems can benefit from the recent progress in quantum computing. Recently, proofs of principle have been achieved showing the potentialities of quantum computers both in molecules [1] atomic nuclei [2] and in particle physics [3]. This area of research is emerging now in these fields. Most often, the study of static and/or dynamical properties of many-body systems face the exponential increase of complexity stemming from the increase of the number of particles to describe. The goal of the proposed thesis is to enter in the new era of quantum computers and work on complex many-body problem from a different perspective.

During the thesis, we expect to work on many-body systems in a noisy environment (NISQ era) and use concepts from quantum information, quantum computing, open quantum systems and many-body theory. Our group has a great expertise in the nuclear many-body problem and more generally in the many-body problem applied to many areas of physics ranging from atomic physics, condensed matter, and nuclear physics. This expertize as well as the interdisciplinary skills will be a great strength for the success of the project. The thesis will be organized in two steps. In a first step, a survey of current technique to simulate the many-body problem with quantum computers will be made. The goal of this survey will be (i) to better identify the advantage and shortcoming of quantum computers compared to classical computers (ii) to understand the standard quantum computing algorithm. In parallel, we plan to start to revisit models used in nuclear physics using quantum computer techniques. Once this first step will be achieved, we will identify the specific needs to simulate in a realistic way atomic nuclei and start to develop specific models/algorithms able to tackle problems that are at the forefront of what could be solved today.

The project will be conducted in close collaboration with the Lip6 (Laboratoire de recherche en Informatique –Sorbonne University).The thesis is challenging and we seek for a brilliant student able at the same time to work complex theory for many-body problem, use quantum informationconcepts as well as  associated computer tools.

The thesis has received a grant from the 80PRIME-CNRS interdisciplinary program [4].


[1] O’Malley et al., Phys. Rev. X 6, 031007 (2016)

[2] E. F. Dumitrescu, et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 210501 (2018).

[3] Andrei Alexandru, et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 090501 (2019).