Alex Greene, a Ph.D. student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has planned to make superconducting quantum computers more accurate by rounding out the busy schedule with water sanitation projects. Greene will work with MIT Professor William Oliver, who directs the Center for Quantum Engineering in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, to achieve this project.
Greene’s Educational Research
Greene double-majored in electrical engineering and computer science, and physics as an undergraduate at MIT. He found a home in the field of quantum computing, where experts are attempting to construct incredibly potent computers by making use of quantum mechanics-related science ideas.
Greene continued his studies at MIT and joined the Lincoln Laboratory to work for an MEng in quantum computing. There, he looked for ways to enhance the trapped ion quantum computing method, which uses laser-controlled, airborne atoms.
He switched to a different technology called superconducting quantum computing after finishing his master’s. With this technology, small electric circuits that are exceptionally good at conducting electric current are used in place of suspended atoms. The researchers merely need to transmit electrical signals to regulate these circuits.
How Quantum Computers Solve Problems
Quantum computers might be able to solve issues that are beyond the capabilities of conventional classical computers, enabling significant advancement in a variety of applications. However, from a technological standpoint, it is difficult to manipulate the hardware to demonstrate quantum behavior.
The length and complexity of the programs that quantum computers, particularly superconducting ones, can execute are currently constrained by their high error rates. The majority of experimental quantum computing research is concentrated on correcting these problems.
Greene is attempting to lessen the impact of these flaws to increase the accuracy of superconducting quantum computers. They need to perform research on superconducting circuits to put their theories to the test. However, for these circuits to function, they must be cooled down to incredibly low temperatures of roughly -273.13 degrees Celsius, which is only 0.02 degrees warmer than the universe’s coldest potential temperature.
The dilution fridge, which resembles a chandelier, is used in this situation. The necessary cold temperatures are easily attained using the refrigerator. However, occasionally it misbehaves, sending Greene on side missions to address its issues.
The most difficult side task for Greene was finding a leak in one of the fridge’s pipes. Greene couldn’t afford to lose the pipes because they carry a pricey and uncommon gas mixture that is used to chill the refrigerator. Fortunately, even with the leak, the refrigerator was built to work for around two weeks at a time without losing any mixture.
However, throughout a five-day procedure, Greene had to repeatedly restart and clean the fridge to keep it in operation. Greene and their lab partner finally discovered and patched the leak after around seven trying months, enabling Greene to resume their research at full speed.
How Greene Plans to Improve the Accuracy of Superconducting Quantum Computers
Greene had to first make a list of the various kinds of mistakes present in these systems to plan how to efficiently increase the accuracy of superconducting quantum computers. Coherent and incoherent mistakes are the two types of errors in quantum computing.
Coherent mistakes result from insufficient system management, whereas incoherent errors are random errors that happen even when the quantum computer is idle. Researchers have analytically demonstrated that coherent errors compound quicker than incoherent errors and that coherent faults are frequently the worst offenders in system flaws in quantum computers.
Greene used a creative strategy to disguise these errors, so they appeared to be incoherent errors to avoid the unpleasant compounding inaccuracies of coherent errors. They claim that coherent faults can compound as slowly as incoherent errors in superconducting circuits if a small amount of randomness is intentionally included.
According to Greene, other researchers in the field are also using randomized strategies. However, Greene is paving the road for more precise superconducting quantum computers through their research.