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Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years

A representation of how the quantum state of a single atom may be detected. cal and electrical approach.

Los Alamos National Laboratory has been running a quantum Internet that can transmit secure messages for more than two years.

Credit: Science Alert

Researchers at Los Alamos National Labs report that for the last two and a half years, the facility has been running a quantum Internet that can transmit perfectly secure messages.

The system involves creating a quantum network based on a hub-and-spoke-type arrangement, which is used to route all messages from any point in the network to another. The messages to the hub depend on the usual level of quantum security, but once at the hub they are converted to conventional classical bits and then reconverted into quantum bits to be routed along the second leg of their journey.

The network should be secure as long as the hub is secure, but the increasing number of links to the hub complicates the ability to manage all possible connections that can be made between one network point and another. The researchers say they addressed this challenge via a strategy that outfits each network node with quantum transmitters, while only the hub is capable of receiving a quantum message.

The researchers say the system's primary advantage is that it requires very simple technology, no more than a laser, at each node.

From Technology Review
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