Friday 23 September 2016

Doing an experiment with the Quantum Experience

This is part of a project to get people involved with quantum error correction. See here for more info.

A few months ago, IBM launched their Quantum Experience. It lets you design programs to run on a quantum computer, and then actually run them! It's only a five qubit quantum computer, so it can't do a huge amount. But it can do a lot. There's a fair few important experiments from the past few years that you can now do for yourself, in the comfort of your own home.

Earlier this week, I realized what this meant for me. A few years ago I proposed an experiment to braid anyons on a surface code. It was published In the Journal Of Physics A, though you can get it for free here too.

Anyons and surface codes are things I've talked about here and on my YouTube channel quite a lot. They are the basis of the games that form the cornerstone of the Decodoku project. So if this experiment ever got actually implemented, it is something I would be wanting to tell you all about it.

Now it has been done! By me! Using the Quantum Experience! I spent this week designing, implementing and data processing. I did an experiment, in which I made and braided anyons. Now it's time to tell you all about it.

I wrote a paper, designed to be both a proper scientific paper and something accessible to a (suitably motivated) member of the public. You can find it here. I also made a video to explain it to more normal members of the public.

I encourage you all to get over to the Quantum Experience and have fun. If I, a staunch theorist, can do an experiment, so can you!