Qutech researchers from Netherland have reported the possibility of the first multi-node quantum network that would have the capability to connect together three quantum processors. They also achieved a proof-of-principle demonstration of major quantum network protocols.
The new findings herald a very important milestone in quantum internet as it opens greater insights into internet connections.
Leader of the Research team, Ronald Hanson had emphatically declared: “The future quantum internet will consist of countless quantum devices and intermediate nodes,”
The quantum Internet, a network that allows information exchange within an environment using the laws of quantum mechanics, gives it an edge over world current web applications because of its superior capabilities.
Normal internet information in bits of either 0 or1 but a quantum internet make use of quantum bits that can be 0 or 1 at the same time with its ability to connect two quantum devices like computers or sensors over large distances.
The direct implication of this breakthrough is that the world can now have the possibility of a faster and stable internet connection, even with the connection of host of devices.
In the words of Matteo Pompili, a member of the research team, who incidentally is a Ph.D. student: “A quantum internet will open up a range of novel applications, from unhackable communication and cloud computing with complete user privacy to high-precision time-keeping. And like with the Internet 40 years ago, there are probably many applications we cannot foresee right now.”
In a report published on scitechdaily, the rudimentary quantum network consists of three quantum nodes, at some distance within the same building. To make these nodes operate as a true network, the researchers had to invent a novel architecture that enables scaling beyond a single link. The middle node (called Bob) has a physical connection to both outer nodes (called Alice and Charlie), allowing entanglement links with each of these nodes to be established. Bob is equipped with an additional quantum bit that can be used as memory, allowing a previously generated quantum link to be stored while a new link is being established. After establishing the quantum links Alice-Bob and Bob-Charlie, a set of quantum operations at Bob converts these links into a quantum link Alice-Charlie. Alternatively, by performing a different set of quantum operations at Bob, entanglement between all three nodes is established.
The quantum internet is known to have safer connections as most of its data are secured with a shared key being distributed by the sender and the receiver, the ensuing common key is used to encrypt the message thus keeping information safe from a third party and hackers.
The quantum key distribution (QKD), an emerging field of cyber security is premised on the algorithm for keys creation that makes it difficult, not impossible for hackers to break in to systems configurations of users.
Having two or three sensors connected may raise more questions, how ready is the new technology for subsequent use? A feature of the network is that it announces the successful completion of these (intrinsically probabilistic) protocols with a “flag” signal.
Sophie Hermans, one of the team members, analysed key distribution, computation and other quantum protocols below:
“Once established, we were able to preserve the resulting entangled states, protecting them from noise,” “It means that, in principle, we can use these states for quantum key distribution, a quantum computation or any other subsequent quantum protocol.”
The Future Of Quantum Internet is Here
The new discovery offers researchers the leverage to develop and test quantum internet hardware, software and protocols with a view to leverage into its present and future alignment with existing data infrastructures. Qutech ongoing project: the Quantum Internet Demonstrator which is expected to be completed in the year 2022 would be the first metropolitan link and offers a physical testing probability on existing telecom devices.
This is great, so great.