Quantum computations on a topologically encoded qubit

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Science  12 Jun 2014:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1253742

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The construction of a quantum computer remains a fundamental scientific and technological challenge, in particular due to the influence of unavoidable noise. Quantum states and operations can be protected from errors using protocols for quantum computing with faulty components. Toward this, here we implement a quantum error correcting code, encoding one qubit in entangled states distributed over 7 trapped-ion qubits. We demonstrate the capability of the code to detect one bit flip, phase flip or a combined error of both, regardless on which of the qubits they occur, and furthermore apply sequences of gate operations on the encoded qubit to explore its computational capabilities. This 7-qubit code represents a fully functional instance of a topologically encoded qubit, or color code, and opens a route toward fault tolerant quantum computing.

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