A viable quantum internet is a network in which information stored in qubits is shared over a long distance through entanglement would transform fields of data storage, precision sensing & computing, introducing in a new era of communication.
In a paper published in PRX Quantum, the team presents for the first time a demonstration of a sustained long distance (44 kilometres of fiber) teleportation of qubits of photons (quanta of light) with fidelity greater than 90%. The qubits were teleported over a fiber optic network using state of art single photon detectors & off shelf equipment.
“We are thrilled by these results,” said Fermilab scientist Panagiotis Spentzouris, head of the Fermilab quantum science program & one among the paper co-authors. “This is a key-achievement on the way to building a technology which will redefine how we conduct global communication.”
Quantum teleportation is a “disembodied” transfer of quantum states from one location to other. The quantum teleportation of qubit is achieved using quantum entanglement in which two or more particles are inextricably linked to every other. If an entangled pair of particles is shared between 2 separate locations, regardless of the space between them, the encoded information is teleported.
The joint team of researchers at Fermilab, AT&T, Caltech, Harvard University, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory & University of Calgary have successfully teleported qubits on two systems: the Caltech Quantum Network or CQNET & the Fermilab Quantum Network or FQNET. The systems were designed, built, commissioned & deployed by Caltech’s public-private research program on Intelligent Quantum Networks & Technologies or IN-Q-NET.
“We’re very proud to have achieved this milestone on sustainable, high-performing & scalable quantum teleportation systems,” said Maria Spiropulu, Shang-Yi Ch’en professor of physics at Caltech & director of the IN-Q-NET research program. “The results will further be improved with system upgrades we are expecting to complete by Q2 2021.”
CQNET & FQNET, which feature near-autonomous processing are compatible with both existing telecommunication infrastructure & with emerging quantum processing & storage devices. Researchers are using them to enhance the fidelity & rate of entanglement distribution with a stress on complex quantum communication protocols & fundamental science.
The achievement comes just a couple of months after the U.S. Department of Energy unveiled its blueprint for national quantum internet at a press conference in Chicago.
“With this demonstration, we’re starting to lay the foundation for the construction of a Chicago area metropolitan quantum network,” Spentzouris said. The Chicagoland network called the Illinois Express Quantum Network, is designed by Fermilab in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, Caltech, Northwestern University & industry partners.
This research was supported by the DOE’s Office of Science through the Quantum Information Science-Enabled Discovery (QuantISED) program.
“The feat is a testament to success of collaboration across disciplines & institutions, which drives such a lot of what we accomplish in science,” said Fermilab Deputy Director of Research Joe Lykken. “I commend the IN-Q-NET team & our partners in academia & industry on this first of its kind achievement in quantum teleportation.”