Fault-Tolerance Threshold for a Distance-Three Quantum Code

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The quantum error threshold is the highest (model-dependent) noise rate which we can tolerate and still quantum-compute to arbitrary accuracy. Although noise thresholds are frequently estimated for the Steane seven-qubit, distance-three quantum code, there has been no proof that a constant threshold even exists for distance-three codes. We prove the existence of a constant threshold. The proven threshold is well below estimates, based on simulations and analytic models, of the true threshold, but at least it is now known to be positive.