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Quantum Computers a Step Closer to Reality Thanks to New Finding

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Quantum computers could have a much higher threshold for error than previously thought, according to Sean Barrett from Imperial College London and colleague Thomas Stace from the University of Queensland in Australia. Their new research reveals that a quantum computer could still be made to work if up to a quarter of the qubits are lost. "Just as you can often tell what a word says when there are a few missing letters, or you can get the gist of a conversation on a badly connected phone line, we used this idea in our design for a quantum computer," Barrett says.

The researchers were able to correct for missing qubits by using a system of error-correcting code, which examines the context provided by the remaining qubits to correctly decipher the lost information.

The findings also suggest that quantum computers may be easier to build than previously thought. Barrett notes that scientists will need to find a way to scale the computers to a sufficiently large number of qubits to be viable. "At the moment quantum computers are good at particular tasks, but we have no idea what these systems could be used for in the future," he says.

From Imperial College London
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