The ability to perform a universal set of logic gates on a quantum simulator would come close to upgrade it into a universal quantum computer. Knowing how to do this is very hard as it requires a precise knowledge of the simulator. In most cases, it also needs to be itself simulated on a classical computer as part of an optimal control algorithm. This generally can not be done efficiently for the very reason that quantum computers provide an advantage over classical ones. Here we use a simulator to discover how to implement a universal set of gates on itself without knowing the details of its own workings. The method is scalable for a series of examples and is a practical way of upgrading quantum simulators to computers, as well as opening up new possible architectures.



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