Methods for universal fault-tolerant quantum computation in small devices
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A reliable large-scale quantum computer would be able to solve problems in physics and chemistry exponentially faster than current classical processors. A large-scale quantum device has not been built because quantum systems are naturally sensitive to environmental influences which manifest as errors in memory and operations during computation. For a large-scale device to become a reality, protocols must be developed that reduce the influence of errors during computation in a manner that maintains scalability of the device. This scalability criteria requires the protocols developed to handle errors must be implemented in a way such that the size of the quantum system and number of operations grows in a tractable manner. Furthermore, the sources of errors must be modeled accurately for true assessments of the viability of these protocols. In this dissertation, we present an investigation into methods of performing reliable quantum computation in the presence of errors in small quantum systems (< 50 qubits). These methods should be considered as software primitives used to built reliable large-scale quantum algorithms and quantum memories. These methods occur in two flavors: quantum error correction and fault-tolerant operations. For quantum error correction, we perform assessments of error correction in the presence of error sources indicative of ion trap quantum computers. For fault-tolerant operations, we investigate the quantum resource cost and efficacy of implementing various techniques for performing reliable operations that would allow for a quantum advantange in a large-scale device.