AI Solves Schrodinger’s Equation

AI Solves Schrodinger’s Equation (



from the fundamental-but-exciting-research dept.

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A team of scientists at Freie Universitat Berlin has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) method for calculating the ground state of the Schrodinger equation in quantum chemistry. The goal of quantum chemistry is to predict chemical and physical properties of molecules based solely on the arrangement of their atoms in space, avoiding the need for resource-intensive and time-consuming laboratory experiments. In principle, this can be achieved by solving the Schrodinger equation, but in practice this is extremely difficult. Up to now, it has been impossible to find an exact solution for arbitrary molecules that can be efficiently computed. But the team at Freie Universitat has developed a deep learning method that can achieve an unprecedented combination of accuracy and computational efficiency.

The deep neural network designed by [the] team is a new way of representing the wave functions of electrons. “Instead of the standard approach of composing the wave function from relatively simple mathematical components, we designed an artificial neural network capable of learning the complex patterns of how electrons are located around the nuclei,” [Professor Frank Noe, who led the team effort] explains. “One peculiar feature of electronic wave functions is their antisymmetry. When two electrons are exchanged, the wave function must change its sign. We had to build this property into the neural network architecture for the approach to work,” adds [Dr. Jan Hermann of Freie Universitat Berlin, who designed the key features of the method in the study]. This feature, known as ‘Pauli’s exclusion principle,’ is why the authors called their method ‘PauliNet.’ Besides the Pauli exclusion principle, electronic wave functions also have other fundamental physical properties, and much of the innovative success of PauliNet is that it integrates these properties into the deep neural network, rather than letting deep learning figure them out by just observing the data. “Building the fundamental physics into the AI is essential for its ability to make meaningful predictions in the field,” says Noe. “This is really where scientists can make a substantial contribution to AI, and exactly what my group is focused on.”

The results were published in the journal Nature Chemistry.

“The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists.”
— Dave Barry


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