Chemistry on quantum computers with virtual quantum subspace expansion
Several novel methods for performing calculations relevant to quantum chemistry on quantum computers have been proposed but not yet explored experimentally. Virtual quantum subspace expansion [T. Takeshita et al., Phys. Rev. X 10, 011004 (2020)] is one such algorithm developed for modeling complex molecules using their full orbital space and without the need for additional quantum resources. We implement this method on the IBM Q platform and calculate the potential energy curves of the hydrogen and lithium dimers using only two qubits and simple classical post-processing. A comparable level of accuracy would require twenty qubits with previous approaches. We also develop an approach to minimize the impact of experimental noise on the stability of a generalized eigenvalue problem that is a crucial component of the algorithm. Our results demonstrate that virtual quantum subspace expansion works well in practice.