Making a qubit is easy. Controlling how they communicate, however… (credit: NSF)
Quantum computers are not like classical computers. I don’t mean that in the sense that quantum computers perform calculations in a different manner, or that they might be faster, or more clever. No, I mean that quantum computers come with a whole set of issues (read: headache-inducing problems) that normal computers don’t.
To reduce these problems, researchers have taken to hiding quantum information, albeit not very successfully. It turns out that using more than one type of qubit offers a bit more camouflage to quantum information.
Quantum hide and seek
Before we get to the latest results, let me paint a picture of pain for you. In a quantum computer, calculations are achieved by manipulating the value of a target qubit—the quantum computing equivalent of a bit—in a way that depends on the value of other qubits. The problem is doing this cleanly.