Quantum computing has just taken an important step

Scientists at the QuTech Institute at Delft University in the Netherlands have made significant progress in the field of quantum computing. They have succeeded in teleporting information in a quantum way, paving the way for future quantum internet.

Quantum computing, infinite possibilities

First, it must be understood that quantum computing is completely different from classical computing, since it uses the properties of the quantum world, that is, infinitely smaller. In fact, elementary particles do not behave the way we feel in our daily lives, so researchers are interested in their properties in computing. For example, they may exist simultaneously in different states.

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It is enough to compare qubits and bits to realize the potential of this technology. Bits are processed by classical computers to store information and can only exist as 0 or 1. In quantum computing, an analog qubit of bits can exist simultaneously as 1 and 0, which allows a quantum computer to calculate, for example, more complex than its traditional counterpart.

For now, the field of quantum computing is still in its infancy; But every step is important because it brings us closer to the world of endless possibilities. Eventually, but when, Quantum computers will be able to perform tasks in a matter of minutes, it is impossible to know that existing supercomputers will take thousands of years.

A three-node quantum network

Dutch researchers involved in the study discussed it today and published it in a journal Nature, Created the first three-node quantum network in 2021, and this is the same network that was used for testing. You should know that quantum information can be transmitted by fiber optics, but photons get lost over long distances, and so the information contained in them also disappears. Quantum teleportation of information therefore seems to be an ideal solution, but it still needs to be successful in implementation.

QuTech’s three-node network is not fully connected. Placed in a separate laboratory, several meters away from each other, each of the three nodes, named Alice, Bob and Charlie, contains a qubit of information generated from the nitrogen vacuum center, which is the fault of the diamond network carbon atoms. Only one node, the bob, contains a memory cubit designed from an adjacent carbon atom. Bob is attached to Alice and Charlie, but the next two are not connected to each other, as explained in the video below:

Quantum entanglement is essential for information teleportation

The first step in teleporting quantum information from transmitter (Ellis) to receiver (Charlie) is to tangle between their respective cubits. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon where two particles form a connected system and exhibit quantum conditions that depend on each other regardless of the distance between them.

Thus the two cease to be separate particles with their own specific state and become a system with a single wave function. To achieve this, Alice establishes a tangle with Bob, and any action that takes place within her is instantly replicated within her. Then it’s Bob’s turn to engage with Charlie. Result: Bob allows Alice and Charlie to form a tangle between themselves if they are not connected.

After creating a tangle between Alice and Charlie, the state was created to teleport and then it was executed. Then something happens that is only possible in the quantum world: following the measurement, the information disappears next to Charlie and immediately appears next to Alice. “, Explained Ronald Hanson, physicist at QuTech and lead author of the research.

In other words, the information was teleported from one node to another without crossing space or fiber; Thus, in the case of optical fiber it cannot be lost along the way and it is an essential component for building a very secure, efficient network.

Image of quantum entanglement between three nodes.

This diagram describes in detail how Quantum Entanglement was achieved thanks to Alice, the data transmitter and Charlie, his receiver, Bob. Schema: Nature

A small step with big impact

This is not the first time that researchers have achieved quantum teleportation. Five years ago, researchers at the Chinese University of Science and Technology were able to teleport photons from Earth to the Macy’s satellite in orbit at an altitude of 1,400 km. On the other hand, quantum teleportation of information conducted by Dutch scientists is the first, and it is much more complex. It can give a glimpse of what a quantum internet network will look like.

In addition to the test quality, the display of a sophisticated quantum communication configuration with three nodes and a very comprehensive communication algorithm, lays the groundwork for its expansion into a scalable configuration of entanglement distribution and quantum communication which is very promising. Garcia Ripol, a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council’s (CSIC) Institute of Fundamental Physics and co-founder of Inspiration-Q, told the Daily El Pais.

Now, scientists want to increase the number of memory cubits, which would allow more complex protocols to run, but also to use the technology outside the lab. Of course, this progress is a first (small) step towards establishing a huge quantum network, which should not have seen daylight for at least ten years, but should not be taken lightly.

If Quantum Internet is still a long way off, experts are already preparing for the potential dangers it represents. For example, the US-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is already working on quantum energy encryption to prevent future quantum cyber attacks.

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