Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Record-low error rate for quantum information processing with one qubit

Date:
September 6, 2011
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Physicists have achieved a record-low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit) -- the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers.

Micrograph of NIST ion trap with red dot indicating where a beryllium ion hovers above the chip. The horizontal and vertical lines separate gold electrodes, which are tuned to hold the ion and generate microwave pulses to manipulate it. The chip was used in experiments demonstrating record-low error rates in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit.
Credit: NIST

Thanks to advances in experimental design, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have achieved a record-low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit) -- the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers.

A quantum computer could potentially solve certain problems that are intractable using today's technology, even supercomputers. The NIST experiment with a single beryllium ion qubit, described in a forthcoming paper, is a milestone for simple quantum logic operations. However, a working quantum computer also will require two-qubit logic operations with comparably low error rates.

"One error per 10,000 logic operations is a commonly agreed upon target for a low enough error rate to use error correction protocols in a quantum computer," explains Kenton Brown, who led the project as a NIST postdoctoral researcher. "It is generally accepted that if error rates are above that, you will introduce more errors in your correction operations than you are able to correct. We've been able to show that we have good enough control over our single-qubit operations that our probability of error is 1 per 50,000 logic operations."

The NIST experiment was performed on 1,000 unique sequences of logic operations randomly selected by computer software. Sequences of 10 different lengths, ranging from one to 987 operations, were repeated 100 times each. The measured results were compared to perfect theoretical outcomes. The maximum length of the sequences was limited by the hardware used to control the experiment.

The record low error rate was made possible by two major changes in the group's experimental setup. First, scientists manipulated the ion using microwaves instead of the usual laser beams. A microwave antenna was incorporated into the ion trap, with the ion held close by, hovering 40 micrometers above the trap surface. The use of microwaves reduced errors caused by instability in laser beam pointing and power, as well as spontaneous ion emissions. Second, the ion trap was placed inside a copper vacuum chamber and cooled to 4.2 K with a helium bath to reduce errors caused by magnetic field fluctuations in the lab.

Brown now works at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Co-author Christian Ospelkaus contributed to the research while at NIST and is now at research institutions in Germany. The research was supported in part by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the National Security Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K.R. Brown, A.C. Wilson, Y. Colombe, C. Ospelkaus, A.M. Meier, E. Knill, D. Leibfried and D. J. Wineland. Single-qubit gate error below 10-4 in a trapped ion. Physical Review A, 2011; (forthcoming) [link]

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Record-low error rate for quantum information processing with one qubit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110831115808.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2011, September 6). Record-low error rate for quantum information processing with one qubit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110831115808.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Record-low error rate for quantum information processing with one qubit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110831115808.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins