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Quantum Systems in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology

University of Oxford_061522G
[University of Oxford]



- Overview

Ideally, quantum computers have the potential to offer greater speed and processing power than today's powerful classical computers when it comes to solving complex problems in science and other critical applications. Although several tech companies and institutions have developed prototype quantum systems that outperform classical models, they require more research to produce practical and commercially viable products.


- Quantum Physics vs. Quantum Mechanics

Quantum physics is the theory that deals with quantized properties such as energy and angular momentum of small particles such as electrons, atoms, and molecules. Understanding these properties is critical for designing and developing quantum computers and other applications that are very different from the classical systems used today. 

Quantum mechanics is a powerful framework for understanding the motion and interactions of small-scale particles such as atoms and molecules. The idea behind quantum mechanics often seems odd. In many ways, our everyday experience of the macroscopic physical world does not prepare us for the microscopic world of quantum mechanics. 

Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics that describes the physical properties of nature on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics, including quantum chemistry, quantum field theory, quantum technology, and quantum information science. 

The key difference between quantum physics and quantum mechanics is that quantum physics is a branch of science that focuses on quantum mechanics, which is a set of principles that explain the behavior of matter and energy.


- Qunatum Chemistry

Quantum chemistry, also known as molecular quantum mechanics, is a branch of physical chemistry that focuses on the application of quantum mechanics to chemical systems, specifically quantum mechanical calculations of the contribution of electrons to the physical and chemical properties of molecules, materials, and solutions. atomic level. 

These calculations include approximations applied to the system, designed to make the calculations computationally feasible, while still capturing as much information as possible about the important contributions to the computed wavefunction and to observable properties such as structural, spectral, and thermodynamic properties information. Quantum chemistry also involves computing quantum effects on molecular and chemical dynamics. 

Chemists rely heavily on spectroscopy, through which information about energy quantification at the molecular scale can be obtained. Commonly used methods are infrared (IR) spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and scanning probe microscopy. Quantum chemistry can be applied to prediction and validation of spectroscopic data as well as other experimental data. 


- Quantum Biology

Quantum biology is the study of the application of quantum mechanics and theoretical chemistry to aspects of biology that cannot be accurately described by classical physical laws. An understanding of fundamental quantum interactions is important because they determine the properties of next-level tissues in biological systems. 

Many biological processes involve converting energy into a form that can be used for chemical transformation and are quantum mechanical in nature. These processes involve chemical reactions, light absorption, formation of excited electronic states, transfer of excitation energy, and transfer of electrons and protons (hydrogen ions) in chemical processes such as photosynthesis, olfaction, and cellular respiration. Quantum biology can use computation to simulate biological interactions based on quantum mechanical effects. Quantum biology focuses on the effects of nontrivial quantum phenomena, which can be explained by reducing biological processes to fundamental physics, although these effects are difficult to study and may be speculative.



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