Quantum algorithm for lattice Boltzmann (QALB) simulation of incompressible fluids with a nonlinear collision term

Wael Itani, Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, Sauro Succi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a full quantum algorithm for the lattice Boltzmann method for simulating fluid flows, the only such algorithm to implement both the streaming and collision substeps as unitary operators using an efficient number of qubits. We use Hamiltonian simulation as the main route underlying the algorithm, and show that it uses qubits that scale logarithmically in the flow Reynolds number but gates that scale only polynomially. We motivate the discussion by a brief overview of existing attempts at simulating classical fluids on quantum computers and present a pedagogical discussion on assigning quantum operators to classical variables in both the streaming and the collision substeps, after highlighting the incompatibility of the latter with the implementations of the streaming step that exists in the literature. We use the Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook ansatz for the collision term, representing the relaxation toward an equilibrium distribution. For nonlinear collisions, we use Kowalski's framework that links the nonlinear dynamics of a system to the evolution of bosonic modes, assigning a Carleman linearization order to the truncation in the Fock space of the bosons. We present the qubit and gate complexities, in terms of the chosen accuracy and the Reynolds number. In the Appendix, we work out the details of implementing the operators of the truncated bosonic Fock space in terms of single-qubit gates as well as the error scaling for a general polynomial driving function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number017112
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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