Quantum physicists in physics professor John Martinis' lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have taken a significant step towards building a quantum computer. While classical computing is based on the binary digit, qubits form the base of quantum computing. Qubits are prone to instability because unlike classical binary digit, quibits can exist in any and all positions at the same time, which is called "superpositioning." This instability, which is a major hurdle in the building of large-scale superconducting quantum computers, was overcome by the researchers at Martinis Lab by developing quantum circuitry that self-checks for errors and suppresses them, while preserving the qubits' state(s) and imbuing the system with reliability. The error correction process is based on a system of nine qubits where qubits in the grid safeguard information in the other qubits, thus preserving the property of superpositioning while accessing enough information to detect errors. The next step for the researchers is to try to prolong the error correction cycles and correct another error called a “phase-flip.”
Read more in Science Daily.