What is a quantum simulator?

Tomi H Johnson, Stephen R Clark, Dieter Jaksch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (SciVal)


Quantum simulators are devices that actively use quantum effects to answer questions about model systems and, through them, real systems. Here we expand on this definition by answering several fundamental questions about the nature and use of quantum simulators. Our answers address two important areas. First, the difference between an operation termed simulation and another termed computation. This distinction is related to the purpose of an operation, as well as our confidence in and expectation of its accuracy. Second, the threshold between quantum and classical simulations. Throughout, we provide a perspective on the achievements and directions of the field of quantum simulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages13
JournalEPJ Quantum Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2014


  • quant-ph


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