James Daniel Whitfield

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor of Physics

Whitfield group: Research

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The overarching objective of our group is to understand the abilities and limitations of new and existing computers to perform physical simulations. In particular, we are interested in the role that quantum mechanics plays in computation both in terms of quantum computers and classical models of quantum information. Important applications to be considered include the study of compression techniques for quantum systems (e.g. matrix product states, density functional and density matrix theories) and addressing the longstanding question of what, if anything, today's quantum computation can tell us about fermionic systems of applied interest.   A wide scope of techniques from condensed matter, to statistical physics, and electronic structure allow for applied and theoretical interests of group members to be accommodated and nurtured. 

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Personal Website
248 Wilder, Physics and Astronomy
HB 6127
Physics and Astronomy
Ph. D. Harvard University
M. A. Harvard University
B. S. Morehouse College

Selected Publications

V Havlíček, M Troyer, James Daniel Whitfield. Operator locality in the quantum simulation of fermionic models. Physical Review A, 95(3):032332 (2017)


James Daniel Whitfield, V Havlíček, M Troyer. Local spin operators for fermion simulations. Physical Review A, 94(3):030301 (2016)

James Daniel Whitfield, Z Zimborás. On the NP-completeness of the Hartree-Fock method for translationally invariant systems. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 141(23):234103 (2014) 

James Daniel Whitfield, P J Love, and A Aspuru-Guzik. Computational complexity in electronic structure. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 15(2):397–411, (2013)

James Daniel Whitfield, J D Biamonte, and A Aspuru-Guzik. Simulation of electronic structure Hamiltonians using quantum computers. Molecular Physics, 109(5):735750 (2011) 

James Daniel Whitfield, CA Rodrguez-Rosario, A Aspuru-Guzik. Quantum stochastic walks: A generalization of classical random walks and quantum walks. Physical Review A 81(2):022323 (2010) 

B P Lanyon, James Daniel Whitfield,G G Gillett, M E Goggin, M P Almeida, I Kassal, J D Biamonte, M Mohseni, B J Powell, M Barbieri, A Aspuru-Guzik, A G White. Towards quantum chemistry on a quantum computer. Nature Chemistry, 2(2):106111 (2010)