Quantum Lattice-Gas Model for the Burgers Equation1

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A quantum algorithm is presented for modeling the time evolution of a continuous field governed by the nonlinear Burgers equation in one spatial dimension. It is a microscopic-scale algorithm for a type-II quantum computer, a large lattice of small quantum computers interconnected in nearest neighbor fashion by classical communication channels. A formula for quantum state preparation is presented. The unitary evolution is governed by a conservative quantum gate applied to each node of the lattice independently. Following each quantum gate operation, ensemble measurements over independent microscopic realizations are made resulting in a finite-difference Boltzmann equation at the mesoscopic scale. The measured values are then used to re-prepare the quantum state and one time step is completed. The procedure of state preparation, quantum gate application, and ensemble measurement is continued ad infinitum. The Burgers equation is derived as an effective field theory governing the behavior of the quantum computer at its macroscopic scale where both the lattice cell size and the time step interval become infinitesimal. A numerical simulation of shock formation is carried out and agrees with the exact analytical solution.

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