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Northwestern University researchers have developed a new switching device that takes quantum communication to a new level. The device is a practical step toward creating a network that takes advantage of the mysterious and powerful world of quantum mechanics.
The researchers can route quantum bits, or entangled particles of light, at very high speeds along a shared network of fiber-optic cable without losing the entanglement information embedded in the quantum bits. The switch could be used toward achieving two goals of the information technology world: a quantum Internet, where encrypted information would be completely secure, and networking superfast quantum computers.
I understand what they are working with, but I guess I don't have enough vision to see the practical application being all that helpful.
Originally posted by drakus
Hmm, interesting stuff! Flagged.
As the above poster, i still struggle to grasp how in hell are they working with entangled particles...
That makes it attractive? Of course I know it's not meant to work with my current computer and they'd have to design new computers to work with qubits, but still, I'm unconvinced.
The bits we all know through standard, or classical, communications only exist in one of two states, either "1" or "0." All classical information is encoded using these ones and zeros. What makes a quantum bit, or qubit, so attractive is it can be both one and zero simultaneously as well as being one or zero.
I don't think you read the article very carefully, if at all.
Originally posted by mydarkpassenger
It works this way: we switch off from using clumsy things like electrons for data transmission, and move to smaller and more fundamental particles.
See the part about integrating into the existing telecommunication infrastructure? It already uses fiber optics (photons, not electrons) for the backbone circuits, and in the case of Verizon FIOS, the fiber optics goes all the way to your home.
"My goal is to make quantum communication devices very practical," said Prem Kumar, AT&T Professor of Information Technology in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and senior author of the paper. "We work in fiber optics so that as quantum communication matures it can easily be integrated into the existing telecommunication infrastructure."