Scientists Search for Quantum Noise Footprint

New research looks for a way to work with the noise instead of against it.

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Purdue University have announced the results of a study that could one day change the way scientists approach the problem of noise in quantum computing.

Background noise is a major issue for quantum computers, and as the quantum computing field attempts larger calculations with larger systems, the problem becomes worse. The conventional approach is to measure the noise at the qubit level and try to eliminate it or correct for it in some way. But “...cataloging such discrete changes is difficult...and perhaps not always the most efficient route.”

According to University of Chicago Chemistry professor and co-author David Mazziotti, “We wondered if there was a way to work ‘with’ the noise instead of against it.”

The announcement describes the group’s approach, “They picked a particular computation of a molecule displaying quantum behavior, and ran it as a simulation on a quantum computer. Then they tweaked the settings on the problem in several different directions, and kept track of how the noise responded. By putting this all together, [they] built a ‘fingerprint’ of the noise as perceived by the simulation.”

Co-author Zixuan Hu, postdoctoral researcher at Purdue, adds “It is hard to simulate what each molecule in a glass of water is doing, but it is much easier to predict the behavior of the whole.”

See the announcement at the University of Chicago website, or look for the full article in Nature Communications Physics.