Scientists have developed the first algorithm to understand quantum noise

It is known that quantum systems are prone to errors and noise. To overcome this and build a functional quantum computer, physicists should ideally understand noise throughout the system. This was unattainable until now when Dr. Robin Harper and his colleagues developed the first system-wide quantum algorithm for characterizing noise. New research published in the journal Nature Physics.

Noise is a major obstacle to the creation of large-scale quantum computers. To tame noise (interference or instability), scientists need to understand how it affects the entire quantum system. Until now, this information was only available for very small devices or subsets of devices.

The work of Dr. Robin Harper and his colleagues, published today, allows the development of algorithms that will work on large quantum devices. They demonstrated this by diagnosing noise in an IBM Quantum Experience device, detecting correlations in a 14-qubit machine. Previously, they were undetectable.

The results are the first implementation of provably rigorous and scalable diagnostic algorithms that can be run on modern quantum devices and beyond, the scientists emphasize.

The discovery was made by Dr. Harper, a researcher at the University of Sydney Nano Institute, and a member of the Australian Research Council’s Center of Excellence for Engineering Quantum Systems.