With a few quantum bits, an ideal quantum computer can process vast amounts of information in a coordinated way, making it significantly more powerful than a classical counterpart. This predicted power increase will be great for users but is bad for physicists trying to simulate on a classical computer how an ideal quantum computer will behave. Now, a trio of researchers has shown that they can substantially reduce the resources needed to do these simulations if the quantum computer is “imperfect” [1]. The arXiv version of the trio’s paper is one of the most “Scited” papers of 2020 and the result generated quite a stir when it first appeared back in February—I overheard it being enthusiastically discussed at the Quantum Optics Conference in Obergurgl, Austria, at the end of that month, back when we could still attend conferences in person.

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