Scientists from Beijing set a new world record from new secure quantum direct communication (QSDC) of 102.2 km (64 miles), a huge jump over the previous record of 18 km (11 miles), according to The Eurasian Times.
This research could eventually lead to large-scale quantum communication networks that are virtually immune from hackers due to the nature of the technology.
Scientists publishing a paper in the journal Nature showed transmission rates of 0.54 bits per second, significantly slower than when communicating using conventional computing devices. But it was enough to encrypt phone calls & text messages from a distance of 30 km (19 miles).
The same team set a previous record & developed a “design of a new physics system using a new protocol” to break the record by eliminating the “complex active reward subsystem” and significantly improve the previous design. This enabled “ultra-low quantum bit error rate (QBER) & long-term immunity to environmental noise”.
According to the researchers, their experience shows that “direct inter-city quantum secure communication over optical fiber is achievable with current technology.” They believe parts of today’s internet could be replaced with quantum channels, preventing hackers from eavesdropping on communications.
Developing a hacker-proof communications network
QSDC uses a quirk of quantum physics called entanglement to secure communication networks. Entangled particles are inseparable, so changing one property immediately changes the other. This means that any hacking attempt will be detected immediately.
In February, a team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory & University of Chicago set a new quantum science record by holding a quantum state for more than five seconds. They also believe that their work could create a “distributed quantum internet” that will enable more complex quantum calculation and could ultimately greatly improve the security of communications.
The promise of commercially available quantum computers is still far away, but a quantum Internet infrastructure could become a reality. This is a development that could change the way organizations and individuals communicate online, making communication much more secure as you can instantly tell if a message has been spoofed.
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