Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a revolutionary development in the field of quantum computing. Pichai’s official blog reports that the company has made significant progress in the development of quantum error correction, a critical step towards quantum supremacy.

Google’s research team has long been working to develop a system that can maintain the integrity of quantum computing, which is prone to errors due to the delicate nature of the qubits involved.

“Our quantum computers work by manipulating qubits in an orchestrated fashion that we call quantum algorithms. The challenge is that qubits are so sensitive that even stray light can cause calculation errors — and the problem worsens as quantum computers grow. This has significant consequences, since the best quantum algorithms that we know for running useful applications require the error rates of our qubits to be far lower than we have today. To bridge this gap, we will need quantum error correction,” Pichai writes.

The researchers were able to make a breakthrough in these fields thanks to the fact that instead of working with physical qubits on a quantum processor one by one, their group is treated as a single logical qubit. As a result, a logical qubit that was created from 49 physical qubits was able to outperform one that was created from 17 qubits. Today the Nature journal is publishing the results of the Google study. This is the first time anyone has reached this experimental stage of scaling a logic qubit.

“In quantum computing, a qubit is a basic unit of quantum information that can take on richer states that extend beyond just 0 and 1. Our breakthrough represents a significant shift in how we operate quantum computers,” Pichai says.

This achievement marks an important milestone in the development of practical quantum computing, which could have a profound impact on fields ranging from materials science to cryptography. After all, quantum computers have the potential to solve complex problems beyond the power of classical computers.

Although there is still much work to be done, Google’s progress in quantum error correction is a significant step forward in building a practical quantum computer.