This book presents fresh insights into analogue quantum simulation. It argues that these simulations are a new instrument of science. They require a bespoke philosophical analysis, sensitive to both the similarities to and the differences with conventional scientific practices such as analogical argument, experimentation, and classical simulation.
The analysis situates the various forms of analogue quantum simulation on the methodological map of modern science. In doing so, it clarifies the functions that analogue quantum simulation serves in scientific practice. To this end, the authors introduce a number of important terminological distinctions. They establish that analogue quantum ‘computation' and ‘emulation' are distinct scientific practices and lead to distinct forms of scientific understanding. The authors also demonstrate the normative value of the computation vs. emulation distinction at both an epistemic and a pragmatic level.
The volume features a range of detailed case studies focusing on: i) cold atom computation of many-body localisation and the Higgs mode; ii) photonic emulation of quantum effects in biological systems; and iii) emulation of Hawing radiation in dispersive optical media. Overall, readers will discover a normative framework to isolate and support the goals of scientists undertaking analogue quantum simulation and emulation. This framework will prove useful to both working scientists and philosophers of science interested in cutting-edge scientific practice.