AQP Seminar: Towards topologically protected quantum hardware
Quantum computers aim to revolutionize computing by performing certain tasks exponentially faster than classical computers. Quantum bits, or qubits, are the building blocks of quantum computers but suffer from decoherence due to unwanted couplings to the environment. In topological quantum computation, the quantum information is stored in non-local topological degrees of freedom with the promise of longer coherence times for the "topological qubit". Most near-term topological qubit proposals rely on combining superconductors with topological band insulators, a form of topological quantum matter. While topological band insulators are inherently robust to the effects of the disorder, the picture gets complicated by many-body effects. In this talk, I will discuss the challenges ahead on the road to a topological qubit, and interesting physics that arise on the way.