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Postdoctoral position in Montpellier, France: Quantum algorithms for Kohn-Sham Density Functional Theory (two years)

Context: Solving the electronic structure problem in quantum chemistry has been
identified as the "killer application" as it relies on the resolution of the
Schrödinger equation, which exact solution on classical computer scales exponentially
with the system size, similarly to the space spanned by the qubits of the quantum
computer. Nevertheless, expected promises of quantum computing applications to quantum
chemistry might be strongly reduced for some technological generations due to deep
circuit depth and quantum noise. As an alternative, the resolution of Kohn-Sham
equations on quantum computers instead of the Schrödinger equation is here proposed to
bypass the aforementioned limitations. By mapping the KS non-interacting system onto
an exponentially smaller interacting one, only log(N) qubits are required to describe
a system with N orbitals at the DFT level of approximation, thus unlocking the
treatment of larger systems [1]. In this project, we aim to achieve quantum advantage
for DFT in practice rather than conceptually.

[1]  B. Senjean et al., Toward Density Functional Theory on Quantum Computers ?,
SciPost Phys. 14, 055 (2023)

Postdoctoral proposal:
- Design an optimal implementation of quantum DFT on quantum devices (regarding the
encoding, circuit depth, and number of measurements).
- Implementing Q-DFT on a well-established and open-source DFT code: the massively
parallel and python-user-friendly BigDFT code

This is a two years postdoctoral position, funded by the "agence nationale de
recherche" (ANR) and supervised by Bruno Senjean (CNRS, University of Montpellier) in
collaboration with Thierry Deutsch (CEA, Grenoble) and Luigi Genovese (CEA, Grenoble),
developers of the BigDFT code.

Expected qualifications: Python programming, skills in quantum computing and/or
development of quantum chemistry methods.

The selected candidate is expected to start in between October 2023 and January 2024.

Applicants should send a detailed CV (with reference, i.e., name and email address of
the PhD supervisor), and a cover letter to Bruno Senjean

Applicants will be notified by email if their application has been selected for an
online interview. The interview will consist of a scientific presentation given by the
applicant (about her/his PhD project) followed by a question session and a discussion
about the postdoctoral project. Applicants are expected to understand the scientific
motivations of the project and should have a general idea of the theoretical and
practical challenges that will be addressed during the postdoc.

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