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A Short Introduction to Topological Quantum Computation

Ville Lahtinen, Jiannis K. Pachos

SciPost Phys. 3, 021 (2017) · published 9 September 2017


This review presents an entry-level introduction to topological quantum computation -- quantum computing with anyons. We introduce anyons at the system-independent level of anyon models and discuss the key concepts of protected fusion spaces and statistical quantum evolutions for encoding and processing quantum information. Both the encoding and the processing are inherently resilient against errors due to their topological nature, thus promising to overcome one of the main obstacles for the realisation of quantum computers. We outline the general steps of topological quantum computation, as well as discuss various challenges faced it. We also review the literature on condensed matter systems where anyons can emerge. Finally, the appearance of anyons and employing them for quantum computation is demonstrated in the context of a simple microscopic model -- the topological superconducting nanowire -- that describes the low-energy physics of several experimentally relevant settings. This model supports localised Majorana zero modes that are the simplest and the experimentally most tractable types of anyons that are needed to perform topological quantum computation.

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Pachos, Jiannis  ·  Lahtinen, Ville