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U of T researchers and colleagues in the world demonstrate an essential quantum Internet element

The University of Toronto researcher is one of the world's expert groups who have in principle proved a device that could serve as a quantum backbone for the Internet.

Hoi-Kwong LoProfessor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering, and his collaborators have developed a prototype for the core element of all photonic quantum repetitions, a critical step in long distance quantum communication.

"All optical networks are a promising type of infrastructure for fast and energy-efficient communication that is needed for future quantum internet," says Lo, who is called the Faculty of Physics at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Quantum Internet is considered to be the Holy Grail of Quantum Information Processing, which allows many new applications, including theoretical secure communication of information. In contrast, modern Internet is not specifically designed for security, and it shows: violations, intrusion and computer-aided espionage are common problems. Unsatisfactory hackers are constantly punching holes in difficult layers of defense, built by individuals, corporations, and governments.

With this in mind, researchers have suggested other ways to transfer data that could use the key features of quantum physics to provide virtually unbreakable encryption. One of the most promising technologies is the method known as quantum key distribution or QKD. QKD uses the fact that simple detection or measurement of a quantum system condition interferes with this system. For this reason, listening to a third party could leave a traceable footprint and communication could be interrupted before sensitive information is lost.

So far, this type of quantum security has been proven only in small systems. Lo and his team are one of the world's research teams that form the basis for the future of quantum internet, addressing some of the problems involved in transmitting quantum information over long distances through fiber-optic communications.

Because light signals lose their ability to travel over long distances using optical fiber cables, devices called repeaters are placed at regular intervals along the line. Repeaters amplify and amplify signals to help send information.

But the existing quantum information repeaters are very problematic. They require storing quantum positions in repeater locations, making repeaters mistaken, difficult to build and very expensive because they often operate at cryogenic temperatures.

Lo and his team have proposed another approach. They work on the development of next generation transponders, called all photonic quantum repetitions, which would eliminate or reduce many of the drawbacks of standard quantum repetition. With partners at Osaka University, Toyama University, and NTT Corporation in Japan, Lo and his team have proven their work concept in a recently published document. Natural communication.

"We've developed an entire photonic transponder that allows you to change the inverse Bell measurement," says Lo.

“Because these transponders are completely optical, they offer the benefits of traditional, quantum-memory-based transponders. For example, this method could work at room temperature. ”

Quantitative Internet could offer applications that cannot be implemented on the regular Internet, such as imminent security and quantum teleportation using the quantum attraction phenomenon to transmit information between atoms separated by long distances.

"Our work helps to pave the way for this future," says Lo.

The research was funded by the Canadian Science and Engineering Council.

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