Scientists demo quantum network prototype

German researchers use atoms, photons and fibre optic cables to create quantum network.

An elementary computer network using the principles of quantum physics has been demonstrated by a group of German scientists.

Boffins at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics created a simple quantum network by joining two atoms with a fibre optic cable. A single photon was used to pass data between the two ends.

While quantum effects have been used in cryptography, using entangled pairs of photons to exchange cryptography keys, this new research shows how two quantum states can be used to create a computer network.

They achieved this using a single rubidium atom trapped in a reflective optical cavity. One atom is at each end of the network and these are connected via an optical fibre. Each rubidium atom is able to store a quantum state called a qubit.

When this atom emits a photon, the state of the atom is encoded in the photon's polarisation. At the other end of the fibre, the atom takes on this polarised state. This means that atoms can be used to store data in the form of qubits while photons transmit data.

However, while the atomic and photonic qubits were proposed fifteen years ago, getting these particles to interact with each other has been difficult.

Stephan Ritter of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, told Scientific American the problem was that "if you want to use single atoms and single photons, as we do, they hardly interact."

Featured Resources

The definitive guide to warehouse efficiency

Get your free guide to creating efficiencies in the warehouse

Free download

The total economic impact™ of Datto

Cost savings and business benefits of using Datto Integrated Solutions

Download now

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Support the critical role CX plays in your business

Free download

Ransomware report

The global state of the channel

Download now

Recommended

IDC: The business value of Avi Vantage
Whitepaper

IDC: The business value of Avi Vantage

20 Sep 2021
IBM and Verizon expand Texas lab to test new 5G use cases
5G

IBM and Verizon expand Texas lab to test new 5G use cases

12 Aug 2021
Your roadmap to becoming a computer network architect
Careers & training

Your roadmap to becoming a computer network architect

2 Feb 2021
Channel Pro Insight: A fast guide to central network management
Whitepaper

Channel Pro Insight: A fast guide to central network management

13 Jan 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021