Universiteit Leiden

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This Week's Discoveries | 28 May 2019

Tuesday 28 May 2019
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
De Sitterzaal

First lecture

Quantum computing for quantum chemistry

Tom O’Brien (LION)
Tom is a PhD student in the Institute Lorentz of LION. He studied in Australia and Canada prior to his PhD in Leiden. His research aims to develop and implement useful algorithms on a quantum computer, in particular for the purposes of solving problems in chemistry.

Quantum computing promises a powerful tool to study complex molecular systems, beyond the ability of current classical methods. State-of-the-art technology has allowed for the first experimental quantum simulations of toy chemistry problems. At the same time, algorithm design is slowly bringing down the overhead required to solve classically-intractable chemistry problems. In this talk, I will overview our recent work to develop and improve quantum algorithms for quantum chemistry, and recent experimental implementations of these algorithms from collaborators in Delft.

Second lecture

A computational chemist's point-of-view on surface reactions in the interstellar medium: approximations, pitfalls and successes

Thanja Lamberts (LIC)
Thanja Lamberts is a Veni laureate in the group of Dr. Jörg Meyer at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry on the topic of heat dissipation after reaction in interstellar ice analogs.

From a chemist's point-of-view, the low temperatures combined with low particle densities associated with early stages of star formation (e.g. dense molecular clouds) make it seem unlikely for interstellar chemistry to take place efficiently.
The chemistry that does occur can be partly explained by the presence of ice-coated dust grains on which molecules freeze out and, when they find each other, react. Icy bodies act both as a molecule reservoir and as an energy sink for exothermic reactions. The surface processes that occur - amongst others - are adsorption, diffusion, reaction, evaporation, and energy dissipation. In this talk I will discuss one example how the interplay between them can affect astrochemical models.

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