Quantum Internet Gets Closer

New kind of Net would be automatically secure
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Apr 15, 2008 12:40 PM CDT
NEC Corp.'s staff Rie Toh displays the computer maker's Vector Supercomputer, SX-9, as it is launched in Tokyo Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007. Quantum computers with just a few hundred qubits would outperform...   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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(Newser) – A recent quantum computing breakthrough is a step towards creating a quantum Internet—which would be "automatically secure," a researcher told Technology Review. A Northwestern University professor has created a fundamental element of a quantum computer, a quantum logic gate, within an optical fiber, where previous gates used laser passing through air. This “could lead to distributed networks,” said one expert.

“The obvious application is for long-distance quantum communication between two smaller quantum computers," he continued. Professor Prem Kumar’s fiber gate entangles photons to create qubits—bits for quantum computers. Unlike traditional bits, qubits compute with multiple values at the same time, meaning quantum computers with a few hundred qubits would easily outperform today’s greatest supercomputers.