simulations based on just 50 or 60 atoms are able to mimic the
properties of real matter. If a small group of atoms is surrounded by
other identical groups, every atom behaves as if it were part of a
larger material. This makes it possible, for example, to simulate the
behaviour of solids and liquids at high temperatures, and to study
chemical reactions at surfaces to aid in the design of better analysis.
--Slightly redacted from the QPB Science Encyclopedia, "Quantum Simulation"