Debugging a quantum computer


How can we debug a noisy quantum computer when looking inside it collapses the delicate superposition states that power the device?


Professor Steven Flammia

Research Location

School of Physics

Program Type



A quantum computer is a device that harnesses unique quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform tasks that are thought to be impossible on a classical computer. But the quantum nature of the computer means that you can't look at the computation mid stream, or you would collapse the delicate correlations that power the device. As we begin to build rudimentary quantum computers, they sometimes return ``2+2=5''. If we can't look inside mid-computation, how do we figure out where they went wrong and fix the error? There are several theoretical projects which address this question, and they have a wide range of opportunity for students, varying from highly mathematical work using group representation theory to diagnose errors, to using error-correcting codes to protect fragile quantum information from a noisy environment, to numerical projects that interact closely with experiments both at Sydney and abroad.

Additional Information

HDR Inherent Requirements
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree.
Example of inherent requirement may include:
- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree; - Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Quantum Computing, Quantum Information

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2482

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