Application of Quantum Machine Learning using the Quantum Variational Classifier Method to High Energy Physics Analysis at the LHC on IBM Quantum Computer Simulator and Hardware with 10 qubits

21 Dec 2020  ·  Sau Lan Wu, Jay Chan, Wen Guan, Shaojun Sun, Alex Wang, Chen Zhou, Miron Livny, Federico Carminati, Alberto Di Meglio, Andy C. Y. Li, Joseph Lykken, Panagiotis Spentzouris, Samuel Yen-Chi Chen, Shinjae Yoo, Tzu-Chieh Wei ·

One of the major objectives of the experimental programs at the LHC is the discovery of new physics. This requires the identification of rare signals in immense backgrounds. Using machine learning algorithms greatly enhances our ability to achieve this objective. With the progress of quantum technologies, quantum machine learning could become a powerful tool for data analysis in high energy physics. In this study, using IBM gate-model quantum computing systems, we employ the quantum variational classifier method in two recent LHC flagship physics analyses: $t\bar{t}H$ (Higgs boson production in association with a top quark pair) and $H\rightarrow\mu^{+}\mu^{-}$ (Higgs boson decays to two muons, probing the Higgs boson couplings to second-generation fermions). We have obtained early results with 10 qubits on the IBM quantum simulator and the IBM quantum hardware. With small training samples of 100 events on the quantum simulator, the quantum variational classifier method performs similarly to classical algorithms such as SVM (support vector machine) and BDT (boosted decision tree), which are often employed in LHC physics analyses. On the quantum hardware, the quantum variational classifier method has shown promising discrimination power, comparable to that on the quantum simulator. This study demonstrates that quantum machine learning has the ability to differentiate between signal and background in realistic physics datasets. We foresee the usage of quantum machine learning in future high-luminosity LHC physics analyses, including measurements of the Higgs boson self-couplings and searches for dark matter.

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Quantum Physics High Energy Physics - Experiment