D-Wave Senior Scientist and condensed matter physicist par excellence Mohammad Amin gave a talk at MIT yesterday. The abstract:
Adiabatic Quantum Computation with Noisy Qubits
Adiabatic quantum computation (AQC) is an attractive model of quantum computation as it may naturally possess some degree of fault tolerance. Nonetheless, any practical quantum circuit is noisy and one must answer important questions regarding what level of noise can be tolerated. Gate model quantum computation relies on three important quantum resources: superposition, entanglement, and phase coherence. In this presentation, I will discuss the role of these three resources and the effect of environment upon them with respect to AQC. I will also show a close relation between open AQC and incoherent tunneling processes as in a double-well potential. At a more microscopic level, I will present a non-Markovian theory for macroscopic resonant tunneling, together with recent experimental results on superconducting flux qubits which demonstrate excellent agreement with the theory and may shed light on the microscopic origin of flux noise in these devices. Finally, I will discuss the effect of low and high frequency noise on practical AQC processors and compare AQC with thermal annealing.