Solving fluid flow issues on future quantum computers

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has become an indispensable tool in computational science. For example, it is used to model the complex multiphysics processes in gas turbine internal combustion engines to improve their efficiency and reduce emissions. Similarly, the development of new propulsion systems and radically new aircraft designs such as TU Delft’s blended wing body, the
, call for advances in CFD to enable large-scale simulations at an unprecedented level of detail. Quantum mechanics offers opportunities to break through the technological ceiling of conventional digital computing and encode large-scale computational lattices into just a few hundred logical quantum bits (qubits) and operate efficiently on them. The group of
Dr. Matthias Möller
at TU Delft is working on quantum CFD algorithms based on the lattice Boltzmann equation that will run on future fault-tolerant quantum computers, that is, quantum computers capable of holding quantum information long enough and reliably performing gate operations.

The video below marks a first milestone in quantum CFD research and shows a two-dimensional flow exposed to an internal obstruction. The results were obtained from a quantum computer simulator, neglecting certain physical phenomena such as nonlinear particle interactions so far. Current research focuses on incorporating more physical phenomena into the computational model and expanding its capabilities.