Monday, May 6, 2013
Forget Quantum Computing -- the Government has a "Quantum Internet"
Having perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics would spark a revolution in world-wide communications and data processing. The current generation of quantum cryptography systems are point-to-point connections over a single length of fiber optic cable, so they can send secure messages from point A to point B, but cannot route information onwards to other destinations. Because the act of routing a message requires reading the part of it that indicates where it has to be routed (the header), that part has remained "in the clear". Many scientists are working to develop quantum routers that will fix this problem by steering quantum messages without destroying them.
Instead of sending the 0s and 1s of digital code, quantum communicators can send information in a superposition of states that represent both 0s and 1s at the same time. What’s more, separate quantum objects such as a pair of photons can be entangled, which means they share the same existence even if they are widely separated. That leads to a form of quantum information that has no classical counterpart.
One approach is to encipher the router tables -- as long as the hub is secure, then the network should also be secure. The problem with this approach is scalability. As the number of links increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to handle all the possible connections that can be made between one point in the network and another.
Quantum computers will exponentially increase the power of computing, and we may soon have a network to support them.
Read more at this detailed article.