Sausages and Quantum Errors: when it's better not to see how they're made

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I will discuss the design of degenerate quantum error correcting codes for an arbitrary Pauli channel. At noise levels slightly beyond those for which a random stabilizer code does not allow high fidelity transmission with a nonzero rate, our codes usually have a rate which is strictly positive. In fact, there exist Pauli channels for which our codes outperform a random stabilizer code whenever the random coding rate is less than 0.04, which is a couple of orders of magnitude larger than the previous examples of this effect. I'll also present a fairly straightforward explanation of why these codes work and discuss how their performance scales with block size and what this scaling suggests even better codes will look like.