Experimental implementation of an adiabatic quantum optimization algorithm

Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Feb 14;90(6):067903. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.067903. Epub 2003 Feb 14.


We report the realization of a nuclear magnetic resonance computer with three quantum bits that simulates an adiabatic quantum optimization algorithm. Adiabatic quantum algorithms offer new insight into how quantum resources can be used to solve hard problems. This experiment uses a particularly well-suited three quantum bit molecule and was made possible by introducing a technique that encodes general instances of the given optimization problem into an easily applicable Hamiltonian. Our results indicate an optimal run time of the adiabatic algorithm that agrees well with the prediction of a simple decoherence model.