Evaluating Energy Differences on a Quantum Computer with Robust Phase Estimation
We adapt the robust phase estimation algorithm to the evaluation of energy differences between two eigenstates using a quantum computer. This approach does not require controlled unitaries between auxiliary and system registers or even a single auxiliary qubit. As a proof of concept, we calculate the energies of the ground state and low-lying electronic excitations of a hydrogen molecule in a minimal basis on a cloud quantum computer. The denominative robustness of our approach is then quantified in terms of a high tolerance to coherent errors in the state preparation and measurement. Conceptually, we note that all quantum phase estimation algorithms ultimately evaluate eigenvalue differences.