Plasma Physics Colloquium with Nuno Louriero, MIT
Speaker: Nuno Louriero, MIT
Title: Quantum Computing for Plasma Physics: Challenges and Opportunities
Abstract: Modern plasma physics and its applications in astrophysics and fusion energy sciences has come to rely heavily on state-of-the-art computation. Many of the key discoveries over the last couple of decades in this field have been driven by advanced numerical simulations performed in the world’s leading supercomputers, and the expectation is that further significant progress is tightly coupled to algorithmic advances and hardware improvements. On the other hand, the simulations that can be performed in today’s, and near future, computational platforms often remain orders of magnitude smaller than required by the parameters of the environments that they are trying to simulate, suggesting that a computational paradigm shift is necessary if we are ever to perform realistic simulations of many of the problems that drive research in this field.
Quantum computers have the potential to offer up-to-exponential speed-ups for at least some types of applications. However, it is unclear how one might develop efficient quantum algorithms for the typically highly nonlinear problems that plasma physics and its applications deal with. This talk explores initial ideas along these lines, as well as some reflections on what is necessary for this field to benefit from the advent of this novel computational platform.
Brief Bio: Nuno Loureiro is Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Professor of Physics at MIT, as well as Deputy Director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. His research interests range from fundamental plasma physics and its applications in astrophysics, to magnetic confinement fusion. He obtained his PhD in Physics from Imperial College London in 2005, and joined MIT in 2016 after post-doctoral and research scientist positions at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (UKAEA), and IST Lisbon. He is the recipient of the 2015 Stix Award of the Division of Plasma Physics of the APS, and was elected APS Fellow in 2022.
This talk will be offered in a hybrid format. If you wish to participate remotely, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.