The US is developing a more secure national quantum internet that will be virtually unhackable
Quantum networks form an important element of quantum computing and quantum communication systems. Quantum networks facilitate the transmission of information in the form of quantum bits, also called qubits, between physically separated quantum processors.
A quantum processor is a small quantum computer being able to perform quantum logic gates on a certain number of qubits. Quantum networks work in a similar way to classical networks. The main difference is that quantum networking, like quantum computing, is better at solving certain problems, such as modeling quantum systems.
In a press conference held in the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled a report that lays out a blueprint strategy for the development of a national quantum internet, bringing the United States to the forefront of the global quantum race and ushering in a new era of communications.
It was also known before that the US is creating a more secure national quantum internet which will be unhackable. The Department of Energy (DOE) has laid out a blueprint for this “virtually unhackable” internet based on quantum technology — using laws of quantum mechanics to relay information more securely than on existing networks. The country also claims that the national quantum internet could be functional within a decade.
Back in February, with the help of university and industry researchers, the agency was able to set up a 52 mile (83 km) “quantum loop” in the Chicago suburbs. This makes it one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the US.
“The foundation of quantum networks rests on our ability to precisely synthesize and manipulate matter at the atomic scale, including the control of single photons,” said David Awschalom, a professor at the University of Chicago and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.
According to the Energy Department statement, the reasons behind using quantum transmission for a secure internet is that “they are exceedingly difficult to eavesdrop on as information passes between locations” which can help in creating “virtually unhackable networks.”
Scientists are also exploring how the quantum internet could expedite the exchange of vast amounts of data. If the components can be combined and scaled, society may be at the cusp of a breakthrough in data communication, according to the report.
Finally, creating networks of ultra-sensitive quantum sensors could allow engineers to better monitor and predict earthquakes—a longtime and elusive goal—or to search for underground deposits of oil, gas, or minerals. Such sensors could also have applications in health care and imaging.
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