One of the biggest hurdles faced by quantum computing researchers is called decoherence — the tendency of quantum systems to be disturbed. This vulnerability to noise leads to errors, which can be overcome by quantum error correction. Because error correction techniques are themselves susceptible to noise, it is crucial to develop fault-tolerant correction.
The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) Executive Director Raymond Laflamme is one of the pioneers of quantum error correction and the theory of fault-tolerant quantum computing. In collaboration with IQC faculty member David Cory, Laflamme conducted the first experimental testing of quantum error correction in liquid-state nuclear magnetic resonance. IQC faculty members Joseph Emerson and Debbie Leung have all made significant contributions to the field, including:
- noise characterization
- decoherence theory
- control theory
- approximate quantum error correction.