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The power of random quantum circuits

In recent years, random quantum circuits have played a central role in the theory of quantum computation. Much of this prominence is due to recent random quantum circuit sampling experiments which have constituted the first claims of "quantum supremacy".   While random quantum circuits enjoy certain advantages that make them ideal for implementation by near-term quantum experiments, it is unclear a priori why they should be difficult to simulate classically. While we know several examples of quantum algorithms which attain exponential speedups over classical computation, they all seem to rely on highly structured circuits (such as quantum Fourier transforms) which are far from typical. Why then should we expect a generic quantum circuit to realize a large computational advantage?

In this talk we will explain the complexity theoretic basis for the classical hardness of random circuit sampling.

This talk will be based on joint work with Adam Bouland, Chinmay Nirkhe, and Umesh Vazirani (, as well as Adam Bouland, Yunchao Liu and Zeph Landau (

Zoom Link:

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Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 16:00 to 17:30