Quantum simulation is a prominent application of quantum computers. While there is extensive previous work on simulating finite-dimensional systems, less is known about quantum algorithms for real-space dynamics. We conduct a systematic study of such algorithms. In particular, we show that the dynamics of a d-dimensional Schr{\"o}dinger equation with η particles can be simulated with gate complexity O~(ηdFpoly(log(g\′/ϵ))), where ϵ is the discretization error, g\′ controls the higher-order derivatives of the wave function, and F measures the time-integrated strength of the potential. Compared to the best previous results, this exponentially improves the dependence on ϵ and g\′ from poly(g\′/ϵ) to poly(log(g\′/ϵ)) and polynomially improves the dependence on T and d, while maintaining best known performance with respect to η. For the case of Coulomb interactions, we give an algorithm using η3(d+η)Tpoly(log(ηdTg\′/(Δϵ)))/Δ one- and two-qubit gates, and another using η3(4d)d/2Tpoly(log(ηdTg\′/(Δϵ)))/Δ one- and two-qubit gates and QRAM operations, where T is the evolution time and the parameter Δ regulates the unbounded Coulomb interaction. We give applications to several computational problems, including faster real-space simulation of quantum chemistry, rigorous analysis of discretization error for simulation of a uniform electron gas, and a quadratic improvement to a quantum algorithm for escaping saddle points in nonconvex optimization.

}, keywords = {Data Structures and Algorithms (cs.DS), FOS: Computer and information sciences, FOS: Physical sciences, Quantum Physics (quant-ph)}, doi = {10.48550/ARXIV.2203.17006}, url = {https://arxiv.org/abs/2203.17006}, author = {Andrew M. Childs and Leng, Jiaqi and Li, Tongyang and Liu, Jin-Peng and Zhang, Chenyi} }