Real time evolution for ultracompact Hamiltonian eigenstates on quantum hardware
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Real time evolution for ultracompact Hamiltonian eigenstates on quantum hardware


In this work we present a detailed analysis of variational quantum phase estimation (VQPE), a method based on real-time evolution for ground and excited state estimation on near-term hardware. We derive the theoretical ground on which the approach stands, and demonstrate that it provides one of the most compact variational expansions to date for solving strongly correlated Hamiltonians. At the center of VQPE lies a set of equations, with a simple geometrical interpretation, which provides conditions for the time evolution grid in order to decouple eigenstates out of the set of time evolved expansion states, and connects the method to the classical filter diagonalization algorithm. Further, we introduce what we call the unitary formulation of VQPE, in which the number of matrix elements that need to be measured scales linearly with the number of expansion states, and we provide an analysis of the effects of noise which substantially improves previous considerations. The unitary formulation allows for a direct comparison to iterative phase estimation. Our results mark VQPE as both a natural and highly efficient quantum algorithm for ground and excited state calculations of general many-body systems. We demonstrate a hardware implementation of VQPE for the transverse field Ising model. Further, we illustrate its power on a paradigmatic example of strong correlation (Cr2 in the SVP basis set), and show that it is possible to reach chemical accuracy with as few as ~50 timesteps.

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