Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Quantum computing: The power of discord

Physicists have always thought quantum computing is hard because quantum states are incredibly fragile. But could noise and messiness actually help things along?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Lanyon, B. P., Barbieri, M., Almeida, M. P. & White, A. G. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 200501 (2008).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Shor, P. in Proc. 35th Annual Symp. Foundations Comp. Sci. 124-134 (IEEE Press, 1994).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  3. Grover, L. K. in Proc. Twenty-Eighth Annual ACM Symp. Theory Comput. 212-219 (ACM, 1996).

  4. Monz, T. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 130506 (2011).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Vandersypen, L. M. K. et al. Nature 414, 883-887 (2001).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Braunstein, S. L., Caves, C. M., Josza, R., Linden, N., Popescu, S. & Shack, R. Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 1054-1057 (1999).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Du, J. et al. Phys. Rev. A 64, 042306 (2001).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Zurek, W. H. Ann. der Physik (Leipzig) 9, 853-862 (2000).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Henderson, L. & Vedral, V. J. Phys. A 34, 6899 (2002).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Knill, E. & LaFlamme, R. Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 5672-5675 (1998).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Datta, A., Shaji, A. & Caves, C. M. Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 050502 (2008).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. Ferraro, A., Aolita, L., Cavalcanti, D., Cucchietti, F. M. & Acín, A. Phys. Rev. A 81, 052318 (2010).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references


Additional information

See News page 18

Zeeya Merali is a freelance writer based in London.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Nature News and Views Q&A on Quantum Computing

Nature Futures: Quantum erat demonstrandum

Nature Futures: Entanglement

Related external links

Animesh Datta

Andrew White

Xiaosong Ma

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Merali, Z. Quantum computing: The power of discord. Nature 474, 24–26 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing