Researchers develop the first-ever quantum device that detects and corrects its own errors

Mar 13, 2015

Credit: Julian Kelly

By Sonia Fernandez

When scientists develop a full quantum computer, the world of computing will undergo a revolution of sophistication, speed and energy efficiency that will make even our beefiest conventional machines seem like Stone Age clunkers by comparison.

But, before that happens, physicists like the ones in UC Santa Barbara’s physics professor John Martinis’ lab will have to create circuitry that takes advantage of the marvelous computing prowess promised by the quantum bit (““), while compensating for its high vulnerability to environmentally-induced error.

In what they are calling a major milestone, the researchers in the Martinis Lab have developed quantum circuitry that self-checks for errors and suppresses them, preserving the qubits’ state(s) and imbuing the system with the highly sought-after reliability that will prove foundational for the building of large-scale superconducting quantum computers.

It turns out keeping qubits error-free, or stable enough to reproduce the same result time and time again, is one of the major hurdles scientists on the forefront of quantum computing face.


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