Topo logical quantum computation

Sankar Das Sarma, Michael Freedman, Chetan Nayak

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The recent advent of the concept of quantum computation has opened a new chapter and has led to serious efforts towards actual fabrication of a quantum computer. A crucial problem in the construction of a large, many qubit quantum computer is quantum decoherence, which is a physical system will remain in a coherent superposition of states only for a finite and short time. Condensed phases of matter do exist that are insensitive to local perturbations. They are topologically invariant at low temperatures and energies and at long distances. These topological states are as real as metals or ordered magnets, but they are not as common. At the quantum mechanical level, there is freedom to weight each trajectory's contribution to the path integral by a different phase factor. Since the trajectories are not continuously deformable into each other, the classical limit is completely blind to the phases chosen.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Specialist publicationPhysics Today
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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