Researchers claim stable and scalable quantum computing by creating logical quantum processor

Date: 11/12/2023
Harvard researchers achieved a significant breakthrough in quantum computing. Headed by Mikhail Lukin, the team at Harvard developed the first programmable quantum processor capable of handling 48 logical qubits, a significant jump from previous attempts. Published in Nature and done in collaboration with Markus Greiner, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics; colleagues from MIT; and QuEra Computing, a Boston company founded on technology from Harvard labs.

This demonstrates execution of large-scale algorithms on an error-corrected quantum computer to achieve fault-tolerant quantum computation. Lukin compares this milestone to the early days of artificial intelligence, emphasizing the acceleration it brings to building useful quantum computers.

Denise Caldwell from the National Science Foundation said “This breakthrough is a tour de force of quantum engineering and design,” and further comments “The team has not only accelerated the development of quantum information processing by using neutral atoms, but opened a new door to explorations of large-scale logical qubit devices, which could enable transformative benefits for science and society as a whole.”

The team's breakthrough builds on Lukin's work with a neutral atom array, now being commercialized by QuEra. Using ultra-cold rubidium atoms as physical qubits can move about and be connected into pairs or “entangled” and form gates, which are units of computing power. Previously, the team had demonstrated low error rates in their entangling operations, proving the reliability of their neutral atom array system.

Their logical quantum processor demonstrates multiplexed control of logical qubits, a more efficient approach than individual qubit control.
The team aims to expand their operations on the 48 logical qubits and achieve continuous system operation. The research received support from various entities including DARPA, NSF, Army Research Office, and QuEra Computing.

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