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Quantum computing will help search for life in deep space

Enterprise quantum software company IT Zapata has partnered with the UK University of Hull to leverage each other’s expertise to detect the signatures of deep space life.

The partnership will support research aimed at reusing Zapatas Orquestra’s quantum workflow platform to help develop highly accurate astrophysical models and applications.

Although quantum computers are an emerging technology and cannot yet surpass conventional hardware, Zapata has made it possible to generate valuable information from currently available Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices, ”said Dr. David Benoit, lecturer in molecular physics and astrochemistry at the University of Hull.

Dr Benoit added that Orquestra enables researchers to build scalable applications that not only work with NISQ devices today, but are also able to take advantage of the most powerful ones. quantum computing devices of the future.

Improved model accuracy

Sharing details of the hope that the researchers plan to leverage Zapatas’ quantum expertise, the researchers say they want to build on the work of researchers at MIT who, in 2016 made a list of more than 14,000 molecules that could indicate signs of life in the atmospheres of exoplanets.

Researchers at the University of Hull are now aiming to generate a database of detectable biological signatures of these molecules using new computer models of molecular rotations and vibrations. However, little is currently known about how these molecules vibrate and spin in response to infrared radiation generated by nearby stars.

In order to detect them, researchers must build very precise models based on extremely precise calculations, which is touted as one of the strengths of quantum computing.

The research conducted by Dr. Benoit and his colleagues has the potential to redefine our place in the universe, and have been honored that Orquestra has a supporting role, ”said Christopher Savoie, CEO and co-founder of Zapata Computing.

Orquestra’s evaluation for research is currently scheduled for eight weeks before the team publishes an analysis of the research.

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