Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1306.0540 (Helmut G. Katzgraber et al.)

Stability of topologically-protected quantum computing proposals as seen
through spin glasses

Helmut G. Katzgraber, Ruben S. Andrist
Sensitivity to noise makes most of the current quantum computing schemes prone to error and nonscalable, allowing only for small proof-of-principle devices. Topologically-protected quantum computing aims at solving this problem by encoding quantum bits and gates in topological properties of the hardware medium that are immune to noise that does not impact the entire system at once. There are different approaches to achieve topological stability or active error correction, ranging from quasiparticle braidings to spin models and topological color codes. The stability of these proposals against noise can be quantified by their error threshold. This figure of merit can be computed by mapping the problem onto complex statistical-mechanical spin-glass models with local disorder on nontrival lattices that can have many-body interactions and are sometimes described by lattice gauge theories. The error threshold for a given source of error then represents the point in the temperature-disorder phase diagram where a stable symmetry-broken phase vanishes. An overview of the techniques used to estimate the error thresholds is given, as well as a summary of recent results on the stability of different topologically-protected quantum computing schemes to different error sources.
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