Imperial College of London – Quantum computers should be much easier to build than previously thought, because they can still work with a large number of faulty or even missing components, according to a study published today in Physical Review Letters. This surprising discovery brings scientists one step closer to designing and building real-life quantum computing systems – devices that could have enormous potential across a wide range of fields, from drug design, electronics, and even code-breaking.
Many proposals for fault tolerant quantum computation (FTQC) suffer detectable loss processes. Here we show that topological FTQC schemes, which are known to have high error thresholds, are also extremely robust against losses. We demonstrate that these schemes tolerate loss rates up to 24.9%, determined by bond percolation on a cubic lattice. Our numerical results show that these schemes retain good performance when loss and computational errors are simultaneously present.