Chemical engineer Fábio Pereira dos Santos has more than the academic backing of major educational institutions. A Federal University of Rio de Janeiro graduate, Fábio specialized in scientific computing when he obtained his doctorate in chemical engineering, also from UFRJ. The engineer, who often refers to himself as the son of Ogum, the orisha of iron, science, and technology, had the protection of his father when he embarked on postdoctoral research in mathematics at the Institute of Applied Mathematics.
The scientist is optimizing the data from partial differential equations (PDEs) that describe turbulence to be processed using current technology. In addition to translating nature’s problems into equations and calculations, Fábio is a passionate martial arts practitioner. A Carioca who knows how to enjoy his city, he is often found at a good samba or forró in Rio de Janeiro. When the academic world overwhelms him, Fábio finds relief by playing a few chords on his guitar.
Many problems in nature can be modeled using partial differential equations. These equations are simplifications of nature. The more detailed they become, the closer they are to reality. For example, one of the most important phenomena in physics is turbulence. To describe the physics of turbulence, a system of partial differential equations must be solved. However, simulating turbulence at all scales is beyond the capabilities of the most powerful computers available today. Solving partial differential equations (PDEs) in a manageable computational time would be an extraordinary advance for science. The aim of this project is to investigate the potential of quantum computers for numerical simulations, by developing a quantum algorithm that can solve large-scale systems in fluid mechanics, such as turbulence.