Physical Review X

Implementing and characterizing precise multiqubit measurements

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There are two general requirements to harness the computational power of quantum mechanics: the ability to manipulate the evolution of an isolated system and the ability to faithfully extract information from it. Quantum error correction and simulation often make a more exacting demand: the ability to perform nondestructive measurements of specific correlations within that system. We realize such measurements by employing a protocol adapted from Nigg and Girvin [Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 243604 (2013)], enabling real-time selection of arbitrary register-wide Pauli operators. Our implementation consists of a simple circuit quantum electrodynamics module of four highly coherent 3D transmon qubits, collectively coupled to a high-Q superconducting microwave cavity. As a demonstration, we enact all seven nontrivial subset-parity measurements on our three-qubit register. For each, we fully characterize the realized measurement by analyzing the detector (observable operators) via quantum detector tomography and by analyzing the quantum backaction via conditioned process tomography. No single quantity completely encapsulates the performance of a measurement, and standard figures of merit have not yet emerged. Accordingly, we consider several new fidelity measures for both the detector and the complete measurement process. We measure all of these quantities and report high fidelities, indicating that we are measuring the desired quantities precisely and that the measurements are highly nondemolition.We further show that both results are improved significantly by an additional error-heralding measurement. The analyses we present here form a useful basis for the future characterization and validation of quantum measurements, anticipating the demands of emerging quantum technologies.