IMG_20180419_182913 Austin Quantum Computing meetup
Austin Quantum Computing meetup at WeWork in April of 2018. Cory (second from the right), a graduate student at University of Texas at Austin, talks about the latest news in the Quantum Computing field. Among them were Google's 72-qubit quantum computer Bristlecone and open-source projects such as quantum chemistry library Quantum Fermion. As Cory said, this project is looking for collaborators, and they don't even need to be quantum computing scientists. Even "classical" software developers could contribute by writing interfaces for QISKit or LiQUID or other quantum simulating packages.
He also liked that there are now games being developed for quantum computers, as well as by and about quantum computers. He showed a demo of one such game, a quantum battleship version, or more accurately, battleship with partial NOT gates. You play it on a Jupyter notebook by typing Python statements, like in the early days of computing when you played text-based games. (I know, they still exist.) In many ways quantum computing culture is like the early classical computing culture.
Speaking of chemistry, Cory thinks the most promising applications are in chemistry or material science. If the thermal conductance of your sample matches what the quantum computing predicts, you know the quantum computer is correct. So that's the most promising way to verify if the quantum computers compute correctly. (One problem in quantum computing is that some quantum algorithms may be that much faster than classical ones that a classical computer may not even be able to verify a solution produced by a quantum computer.)
Quantum computers already simulating properties of some molecules that are too hard to simulate on a classical computer. Some of those molecules are very valuable, because they are used in nitrogen production for fertilizers, as a catalyst.