Quantum Internet: Novel Features At Large Scale

As seen in ‘Is Quantum Internet On Its Way?’ blog, the first plan for a long-range quantum internet has been released. Some time will pass to develop, implement and use a full-range quantum internet which will have quantum computers at each node and use a full quantum communication based on the intriguing knowledge of quantum physics.

How exactly will quantum network function? And what are the applications fit for such a network?

Regarding how the quantum network functions, this relies on two major features which are inherent to quantum physics:

  • Entanglement
  • Inherent security

The above-mentioned features do not describe the present world wide web, and if this does exist, as in the case of security, it has to be developed, created, it is not “built-in” as in a quantum network.

Entanglement can be used successfully for clock synchronization as it prepares a better coordination between sites at any distance. Entanglement is also used to obtain higher resolution images. The quantum bits ‘0’ and ‘1’m the carriers in the quantum networks are called ‘qubits’ allowing superposition. A qubit can show the value ‘0’ and it can show the value ‘1’ at the “same time” and travelling between the network nodes entangle with each other creating a far more efficient data transmission than with classical internet.

Inherent security, the second major feature is critical to sending data in a highly secure manner. Entanglement helps increased security in the sense that when two qubits are entangled at maximum, no other object can interfere to breach security. The quantum network has the capability to detect if a qubit is copied for any purpose including security breach detecting this attempt.

The applications need less security protocols to build while the quantum network provides increased security thus being desired by users in industries where high security and privacy is required: finance, government, communications. Dramatically new technology is required to transmit qubits in the innovative quantum network.

Many applications are suitable to run in these cutting-edge quantum networks, such as

  • secure communication
  • quantum sensor networks
  • exponential savings in communication
  • integrating Earth’s telescopes while extending their baseline and building the virtual ‘supertelescope’
  • accurate clock synchronization
  • secure identification
  • achieving efficient agreement on distributed data
  • secure access to remote quantum computers in the cloud

Other quantum internet applications have been identified and planned to execute on in these networks. The initial applications will be simple, suitable for basic networks which are currently in development phase. While the quantum networks develop so data travels through quantum communication channels with quantum computers at its nodes the complexity of the applications will certainly increase. They execute through long-range quantum networks which only exist in the plans.

Along with the development of quantum networks, and raised demand for complex quantum applications to unfold an unprecedented world wide web, the need for a common framework for quantum internet researchers becomes obvious, urgent and essential.



Quantum internet: A vision for the road ahead


Author: Cory Popescu, SIP Writers’ Forum