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A simple proof of the threshold for fault-tolerant quantum computation

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One of the central critical results in the theory of fault-tolerant quantum computation is that arbitrarily long reliable computation is possible provided the error rate per gate and per time step is below some threshold value. This was proved by a number of groups, but the detailed published proofs are complex and furthermore only hold for concatenation of quantum error-correcting codes able to correct 2 errors per block, while typically the best estimates of the threshold value are based on the 7-qubit code, which only corrects 1 error per block. I will describe recent work by Panos Aliferis, John Preskill, and myself which substantially simplifies existing proofs and applies as well to the concatenated 7-qubit code. The new proof also provides a nice framework in which to attempt to prove relatively high values of the threshold, which so far have only emerged as estimates from simulations