(ScienceDaily) A team of physicists led by Rainer Blatt from the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck, in collaboration with theoretical physicists from Germany and Italy, has now developed and implemented advanced techniques that allow their trapped-ion quantum computer to adapt in real-time to loss of qubits and to maintain protection of the fragile stored quantum information.
“In our trapped-ion quantum computer, ions hosting the qubits can be trapped for very long times, even days,” says Innsbruck physicist Roman Stricker. “However, our ions are much more complex than a simplified description as a two-level qubit captures. This offers great potential and additional flexibility in controlling our quantum computer, but unfortunately it also provides a possibility for quantum information to leak out of the qubit space due to imperfect operations or radiative decay.” Using an approach developed by the Markus Müller’s theoretical quantum technology group at RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, in collaboration with Davide Vodola from the University of Bologna, the Innsbruck team has demonstrated that such leakage can be detected and corrected in real-time. Müller emphasizes that “combining quantum error correction with correction of qubit loss and leakage is a necessary next step towards large-scale and robust quantum computing.”
The research was financed by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG and the European Union, among others.

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