Host: Isaac Chuang
“Towards Quantum Computing with Superconducting Circuits: Extending the Lifetime of Information Through Quantum Error Correction”
Dramatic progress has been made in the last decade and a half towards realizing solid-state systems for quantum information processing with superconducting quantum circuits. Artificial atoms (or qubits) based on Josephson junctions have improved their coherence times more than a million-fold, have been entangled, and used to perform simple quantum algorithms. The next challenge for the field is demonstrating quantum error correction that actually improves the lifetimes, a necessary step for building more complex systems. Here, we demonstrate a fully operational quantum error correction system, based on a logical encoding comprised of superpositions of cat states in a superconducting cavity. This system uses real-time classical feedback to encode, track the naturally occurring errors, decode, and correct, all without the need for post-selection. Using this approach, we reach for the first time, the break-even point for QEC and preserve quantum information through active means. Moreover, the performance of the system matches with predictions, and can be dramatically improved by making the protocol more fault tolerant. Mastering the practice of error correction, and understanding the overhead and complexity required, are the main scientific challenges remaining for reaching scalable quantum computation with this technology.