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A team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) used a quantum computer to successfully simulate an aspect of particle collisions that is typically neglected in high-energy physics experiments, such as those that occur at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

The quantum algorithm they developed accounts for the complexity of parton showers, which are complicated bursts of particles produced in the collisions that involve particle production and decay processes.

Classical algorithms typically used to model parton showers, such as the popular Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms, overlook several quantum-based effects, the researchers note in a study published online Feb. 10 in the journal Physical Review Letters that details their quantum algorithm.

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