Los Alamos National Labs Has Been Running a Quantum Internet for 2 Years

#Computers

Wed, May 8th, 2013 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

A quantum internet, a sophisticated work of fiction that kept security experts daydreaming because of the perfect secure communication it can provide, not only already exists but a U.S. government laboratory, the Los Alamos National Lab, has been running it for two years.

The basic idea here is that the act of measuring a quantum object, such as a photon, always changes it. So any attempt to eavesdrop on a quantum message cannot fail to leave telltale signs of snooping that the receiver can detect. That allows anybody to send a “one-time pad” over a quantum network which can then be used for secure communication using conventional classical communication.

That sets things up nicely for perfectly secure messaging known as quantum cryptography and this is actually a fairly straightforward technique for any half decent quantum optics lab. Indeed, a company called ID Quantique sells an off-the-shelf system that has begun to attract banks and other organisations interested in perfect security.

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