Molecular vibronic spectra can be used to derive the structural properties of molecules. Although there is no known efficient classical algorithm for calculating these spectra, it has recently been shown that an ideal quantum optics simulator can in principle be used to efficiently perform this calculation. In this work, we demonstrate that imperfect quantum simulators can also yield approximations of these spectra, and illustrate our findings using a proof of principle experimental simulation of the partial vibronic spectrum of tropolone. Specifically, we demonstrate a method for designing an experiment in the presence of imperfections, show that the error on the resulting estimations of vibronic spectra can be efficiently bounded, and show that such experiments can outperform a classicality criterion. Our findings provide a roadmap for future simulations of large molecules beyond the reach of current classical computers.
W. Clements, J. Renema, A. Eckstein
arXiv: Quantum Physics