What is a quantum simulator?

Tomi H. Johnson*, Stephen R. Clark, Dieter Jaksch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum simulators are devices that actively use quantum effects to answer questions about model systems and, through them, real systems. In this review we expand on this definition by answering several fundamental questions about the nature and use of quantum simulators. Our answers address two important areas. First, the difference between an operation termed simulation and another termed computation. This distinction is related to the purpose of an operation, as well as our confidence in and expectation of its accuracy. Second, the threshold between quantum and classical simulations. Throughout, we provide a perspective on the achievements and directions of the field of quantum simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalEPJ Quantum Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Computation
  • Definition
  • Perspective
  • Quantum
  • Review
  • Simulation


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