A group of scientists at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab has figured out how to use quantum computing to simulate the fundamental interactions that hold together our universe.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, Fermilab researchers fill a conspicuous gap in modeling the subatomic world using quantum computers, addressing a family of particles that, until recently, has been relatively neglected in quantum simulations.

The fundamental particles that make up our universe can be divided into two groups: particles called fermions, which are the building blocks of matter, and particles called bosons, which are field particles and tug on the matter particles.

In recent years, scientists have successfully developed quantum algorithms to compute systems made of fermions. But they’ve had a much tougher time doing the same for boson systems.

For the first time, Fermilab scientist Alexandru Macridin has found a way to model systems containing both fermions and bosons on general-purpose quantum computers, opening a door to realistic simulations of the subatomic realm. His work is part of the Fermilab quantum science program.

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