Scientists anticipate that quantum internet will enable computers to perform tasks much more quickly than classic computers can manage, including tasks currently unsolvable by any computer system. They envision secure communication networks.
Researchers have already created several of the core elements for such a network. For instance, they have successfully entangled photons over 740 miles.
What is a Quantum Computer?
Government labs, start-ups and tech giants from Santa Barbara to Hefei are investing billions to develop an advanced computer that could one day revolutionise medicine creation or artificial intelligence development – tapping the mysterious forces of quantum mechanics. If successful these devices may help advance medicine discovery as well as breach encryption used for national security systems.
Quantum computers work by exchanging pairs of qubits between distant locations in order to perform calculations that classical machines cannot manage. This enables quantum computers to perform complex computations that would otherwise be inconceivable.
Scientists will face the real challenge in making quantum networks work as effectively as the Internet does today, which requires physical builds capable of maintaining qubit entanglement across distance and among different kinds of quantum computers. Though this will take much effort and persistence, the promise it offers could be enormous.
What is a Quantum Network?
Quantum internets would employ an alternate data transmission strategy, capitalizing on the peculiar properties that emerge when particles are taken at their most microscopic scales. This would allow quantum devices to communicate over long distances even if separated by barriers similar to those between classic computers and classical users.
At the heart of this system lies entangled photons, which transport quantum information between two points. When these photons are transported between identical locations simultaneously, it will become impossible for any third parties to intercept and copy them.
The US Department of Energy is supporting research into creating a quantum internet blueprint, including developing building blocks such as quantum repeaters that utilize entanglement for communication over long distances in fibre-optic cables. Brookhaven National Laboratory has emerged as a leader in this area with expertise in sensors and electronics, complex systems fabrication, fabrication of sensors for detectors for fundamental particles created in early universe moments and quantum networks for the internet of tomorrow.
What is a Quantum Teleportation System?
Researchers working in quantum communication have successfully been able to transmit data over long distances. They do this by taking advantage of how photons emitted by entangled particles remain correlated regardless of distance from each other.
Alice and Bob need to create an entangled pair of qubits in order to send information between themselves using this method, using their magnetic fields as a medium between their qubits and those belonging to one of their parties. When Alice or Bob need to exchange data, this entanglement allows for the transport of specific qubits directly.
Entanglement between devices must also be maintained throughout teleportation without incurring any loss, which requires using a quantum memory device. Hugues de Riedmatten of ICFO has led a team that successfully achieved this over 1km distance.
Teleportation could allow us to establish a quantum internet that could carry data at speeds much faster than the classical internet, providing access to super-fast quantum computers that could tackle problems like simulating molecules and proteins more rapidly, as well as more accurately synchronize far-flung atomic clocks or detect gravitational waves more efficiently than we can today.
What is a Quantum Cryptography System?
Quantum computers and networks offer tremendous security advantages that governments, large businesses, universities and others are investing billions to create them. Unfortunately, their knock-on effects are so great that everyone seeks an advantage in driving technology forward at any cost.
Quantum computing’s most widely-recognized application is cryptography, which enables secure communication over long distances. But quantum technologies offer many other possibilities as well, especially with regards to entanglement. For instance, this same superposition that allows cats to both live and die can also help synchronize clocks within milliseconds of each other – as explained by Cosmos magazine.
Researchers must overcome the limitations of current quantum communication systems to be able to send information over long distances. One approach is using entangled photons that remain correlated no matter their distance from one another – currently achievable using lasers and fiber-optic cables, though eventually this aim should extend outwards beyond Earth itself.