A quantum simulator is a device for emulating quantum systems that are too complex to simulate on a normal computer. They will be especially useful for understanding phenomena that rely on the cooperative behaviour of a large number of quantum particles. They are likely to be used in the future to design new molecules and chemical processes, and to design new materials such as superconductors, magnets and metamaterials.
We are developing an array of ultracold polar molecules for use as a quantum simulator. The molecules are excellent systems for this application because they can be brought under complete control and because every molecule can interact with every other molecule in the array.