The Physics of Quantum Error-Correcting Codes


Dr Steven Flammia, University of Sydney
This colloquium will be held in Steele (03)-309 at 3 pm.

Afternoon tea will be held in the Physics Tea Room (Building 07).

Error-correcting codes are an essential feature in all modern forms of digital communication. They are used to protect classical information — zeros and ones — from the inevitable noise that happens in any physical device. A quantum error-correcting code can protect *quantum* information from noise, and allows us to protect arbitrary quantum wave functions from the jitter of the microscopic world. Recent research has highlighted deep connections between quantum codes and cutting-edge problems in many-body physics. In this talk, I will highlight several examples of how quantum codes can be used as a lens that provides a novel viewpoint on exotic physics. I will show how quantum codes are at the heart of topological phases of matter such as arise in the fractional quantum Hall effect and yield concrete models for the holographic principle in quantum gravity. Finally, I will show how the quest to build quantum codes with optimal error-correcting properties might lead to the strangest state of matter of all: quantum phases of matter where thermal relaxation alone is enough to protect quantum information.

Dr Steven Flammia – The Physics of Quantum Error-Correcting Codes from School of Mathematics & Physics on Vimeo.