Like graphene, quantum computing is an exciting but endlessly elusive technological promise. One of the reasons—among many—that quantum computers aren't exactly a reality yet is that we haven't been able to effectively spot errors in quantum computations. Not until now, anyway.
A team of physicists just demonstrated the ability to spot and correct errors during the storage of quantum states in a diamond. Traditionally, errors in quantum states have been impossible to correct, because even an act as simple as observing them changes their value; however, scientists have finally made a previously theoretical workaround a reality. PhysOrg explains the process of entanglement:
This is the counterintuitive phenomenon that quantum systems can become so strongly connected that they can no longer be described separately. By encoding the quantum state in an entangled state of multiple quantum bits it is possible to compare the states of the quantum bits to detect errors, without measuring or disturbing the encoded quantum state itself.
This opens the door to more stable, long-lived quantum states and, in turn, a quantum computer that actually works. Scientists were even able to demonstrate this error correction method at room temperature, which could mean that said quantum computer wouldn't need to be kept in deep freeze to work properly.
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