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Proceedings Paper

Prospects and challenges for the realization of quantum computers
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Paper Abstract

A quantum computer is an information processing systems that utilizes invertible logic elements to perform reversible logic operations. It can also perform irreversible logic operations. Thus, in principle, it can compute the information transformation rule of any physical system for which the rules are known. A quantum computer can be designed to perform parallel computation on a massive scale, and therefore can have fast execution time. The basic structure of a quantum computer includes 1) a quantum register, or a configuration of quantum-mechanical energy states to store quantum bits (qubits) of information, 2) a quantum processor designed to induce quantum mechanical interactions between any arbitrary pair of qubits to perform a specified logic operations. 3) a quantum bus or network for transferring qubits from the registers to the processor and vice versa, and 4) a physical mechanisms for non-destructive measurements on the qubits. Quantum mechanical systems with the potential for realizing quantum computers include ion-trap quantum computers, cavity quantum electrodynamics quantum computers, photon-trap quantum computers, nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computers, and superconducting quantum computers. Decoherence [1 ,2] possesses the greatest challenge to the practical realization of quantum computers, because it causes the collapse of the quantum superposition states that contain the vital results of qubit manipulations. Decoherence processes are measurement-induced, noise-induced, and environment-induced [3] . Schemes to correct or circumvent the detrimental effects of decoherence in quantum processors fall into active error-correction schemes, and passive error-correction schemes [4]. Active error-correction schemes are designed to detect and correct for errors during computation. Algorithmic fault-tolerant computing [5, 6] is the most promising active-error correction scheme. In fault-tolerant computing, ancillary qubits are encoded into data blocks of the quantum registers. They are then used to detect errors. Once detected appropriate error-correction algorithms are then employed to rectify the errors. The implementation of fault-tolerant quantum computing has been hampered by the lack of practical universal set of quantum gates that can process an encoded data without propagating or introducing additional errors. Passive-error correction schemes [7] attempt to finding Hilbert subspaces that are intrinsically free of decoherence effects [8]. The key to quantum computing in such a decoherence-free subspace is the identification of mechanisms that can effect quantum mechanical interactions between the decoherence-free states without taking the system out of the decoherence-free environment. The challenge is to identify and employ physical processes that can achieve these goals.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 2002
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4732, Photonic and Quantum Technologies for Aerospace Applications IV, (1 August 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.477423
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Donkor, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)
Patrick D. Kumavor, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4732:
Photonic and Quantum Technologies for Aerospace Applications IV
Eric Donkor; Andrew R. Pirich; Eric Donkor; Michael J. Hayduk; Andrew R. Pirich; Edward W. Taylor, Editor(s)

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