A robust W-state encoding for linear quantum optics

Madhav Krishnan Vijayan1, Austin P. Lund2, and Peter P. Rohde1

1Centre for Quantum Software & Information (UTS:QSI), University of Technology Sydney, Sydney NSW, Australia
2Centre for Quantum Computation & Communications Technology, School of Mathematics & Physics, The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD, Australia

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Error-detection and correction are necessary prerequisites for any scalable quantum computing architecture. Given the inevitability of unwanted physical noise in quantum systems and the propensity for errors to spread as computations proceed, computational outcomes can become substantially corrupted. This observation applies regardless of the choice of physical implementation. In the context of photonic quantum information processing, there has recently been much interest in $\textit{passive}$ linear optics quantum computing, which includes boson-sampling, as this model eliminates the highly-challenging requirements for feed-forward via fast, active control. That is, these systems are $\textit{passive}$ by definition. In usual scenarios, error detection and correction techniques are inherently $\textit{active}$, making them incompatible with this model, arousing suspicion that physical error processes may be an insurmountable obstacle. Here we explore a photonic error-detection technique, based on W-state encoding of photonic qubits, which is entirely passive, based on post-selection, and compatible with these near-term photonic architectures of interest. We show that this W-state redundant encoding techniques enables the suppression of dephasing noise on photonic qubits via simple fan-out style operations, implemented by optical Fourier transform networks, which can be readily realised today. The protocol effectively maps dephasing noise into heralding failures, with zero failure probability in the ideal no-noise limit. We present our scheme in the context of a single photonic qubit passing through a noisy communication or quantum memory channel, which has not been generalised to the more general context of full quantum computation.

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