Quantum Computation and the Local Hamiltonian Problem


Prof. Sandy Irani, UC Irvine
Thursday, January 28, 2016
4:00 PM
Shanahan Auditorium

The field of quantum information and computation is a rapidly developing area at the intersection of physics, computer science and mathematics. The ultimate hope of this endeavor is to harness the mysterious properties of quantum mechanics to build novel and more powerful computing devices. In this talk, I will give an overview of the principles of quantum mechanics and how they might be used to compute. I will talk about how computer scientists have developed abstract models for such devices in an attempt to understand what kinds of problems we can hope to solve with quantum computers. I will also describe the Local Hamiltonian Problem, a fundamental problem in condensed matter physics and its relationship to the Constraint Satisfaction Problem, a fundamental problem in computer science. I will discuss how the study of the Local Hamiltonian Problem has helped inform our understanding of the potential and limitations of quantum computing.