Advances in quantum computing could help us simulate large complex molecules. These simulations could uncover new catalysts for carbon capture that are cheaper and more efficient than current models. We can currently simulate small molecules up to a few dozen qubits but need to scale this to the order of 1 million. Imagine being able to cheaply and easily “suck” carbon directly out of our atmosphere. Such a capability would be hugely powerful in the fight against climate change and advance us towards the ambitious global climate goals set. Surely that’s science fiction? Well, maybe not. Quantum computing may be just the tool we need to design such a clean, safe and easy-to-deploy innovation. In 1995 I first learned that quantum computing might bring about a revolution akin to the agricultural, industrial and digital ones we’ve already had. Back then it seemed far-fetched that quantum mechanics could be harnessed to such momentous effect; given recent events, it seems much, much more likely. Quantum supremacy Much excitement followed Google’s recent announcement of quantum supremacy : “[T]he point where quantum computers can do things that classical computers can’t, regardless of whether those tasks are useful”. The question now is whether we […]

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