The connection between partons and hadrons is quantified in terms of a variety of partonic distributions functions. These are nonperturbative objects, which until recently could only be accessed indirectly from experimental lepton-hadron data. Recently, there has been tremendous progress to access these distribution functions directly from QCD, using the only systematic non-perturbative tool in the market, lattice QCD. Despite the progress of lattice QCD, it is limited in scope because it is defined in a Euclidean spacetime. This is a limitation that may be circumvented with the advent of quantum computers.
In order to understand if or how quantum computers may be of use in the study of nuclear reactions, it is necessary to understand particularities of how the underlying equations of nuclear physics may be cast onto quantum devices. Theory Center members are working with experts in Computer Science and Atomic and Molecular Optical physics to address the outstanding obstacles to access nuclear reactions from quantum computers. A promising approach is based on continuous-variable "qumodes" that are not restricted to bit-based representations, and is featured in systems under development at the University of Virginia and at Brookhaven National Lab.