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Connecting Up the Global Quantum Internet

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Milos Rancic with the experimental setup used to investigate materials for a telecom-compatible quantum memory.

Researchers at the Australian National University have taken a major leap forward to provide practical building blocks for a global quantum Internet.

Credit: Stuart Hay, Australian National University

Researchers at the Australian National University's (ANU) Center for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology say they have taken a major step in building the practical components of a global quantum Internet.

The team has demonstrated an erbium-doped crystal's unique application for enabling a global telecommunications network that harnesses quantum-mechanical properties.

ANU professor Matthew Sellars says the breakthrough shows how to dramatically improve the storage time of a telecom-compatible quantum memory.

"Memories allow us to buffer and synchronize quantum information, operations necessary for long range quantum communication," notes ANU's Rose Ahlefeldt.

Erbium ions make conversion to and from the communications wavelength unnecessary because they can operate in the same band as existing fiber-optic networks.

"We've shown that erbium ions in a crystal can store quantum information for more than a second, which is 10,000 times longer than other attempts, and is long enough to one day send quantum information throughout a global network," says ANU's Milos Rancic.

From Center for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology
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