In our digital age, it is always exciting to recalls that the most basic piece of information that a typical computer understands is a bit: "1" or "0". In the quantum world, we talk about a quantum bit (qubit): 1 or 0 as well as both values at the same time described as superposition and simply denoted as “0+1”. This superposition property is what allows quantum computers to choose the correct solution amongst millions of possibilities in a time much faster than a conventional computer.
Quantum information is very fragile because all existing qubit technologies lose their information when interacting with matter and electromagnetic radiation.
According to the data available, two types of errors can occur on such a superposition state. One is called a bit-flip error, which simply flips a 0 to a 1 and vice versa. This is similar to classical bit-flip errors. Phase-flip errors can also be present, which flip the sign of the phase relationship between 0 and 1 in a superposition state.
Henceforth according to the work at IBM was funded in part by the IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) multi-qubit-coherent-operations program, both types of errors must be detected in order for quantum error correction to function properly.