science

US Energy Department plans 'unhackable' quantum internet


US Energy Department rolls out 10-year plan for QUANTUM INTERNET that would be virtually ‘unhackable’ and could transmit data instantly

  • The agency wants to build the first ever quantum internet 
  • It would use entangled photons to transmit data across a fiber optic line
  • It would be ‘virtually unhackable’ and extremely fast
  • A prototype from Argonne National Lab has shown some success  

The US Energy Department says it plans to build a quantum internet that uses entangled particle to almost instantly and securely transmit data across a fiber optic network.

In a press conference this week, the agency described its vision of a prototype quantum network that it says could be completed within 10 years.

The proposed network would utilize entangled particles to transmit data almost instantly and has already been prototyped by a team at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.  

The US Department of Energy wants to create a quantum internet that can be used to securely transmit data almost instantly (stock)

The US Department of Energy wants to create a quantum internet that can be used to securely transmit data almost instantly (stock)

In February scientists from the Department of Energy (DOE)  in Lemont, Illinois, and the University of Chicago entangled photons across a 52-mile ‘quantum loop.’ 

They were successfully able to establish one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the nation.

According to the DOE, that network will soon be connected to its Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, to make a three-node, 80-mile testbed.

Before the network becomes a reality, however, scientists will be tasked with inventing entirely new technologies and harnessing the proverbial black box of quantum mechanics.

‘This work entails defining and building entirely new fields of study, and with them, new frontiers for technological applications that can improve the quality of life for many around the world and support the long-term competitiveness of our city, state, and nation,’ said Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago.

While the network will definitively not be available for the general public out of the gate, it does have immediate applications in several arenas regarding public health, safety, and governmental operations.

One enticing aspect is the technology’s innate security. Since quantum particles change as soon as they’re observed, the network would be virtually ‘unhackable’ according to the DOE.

‘One of the hallmarks of quantum transmissions is that they are exceedingly difficult to eavesdrop on as information passes between locations,’ said the DOE in a statement.

‘Scientists plan to use that trait to make virtually unhackable networks. Early adopters could include industries such as banking and health services, with applications for national security and aircraft communications.’

Sensitive ‘quantum sensors’ could also be used to monitor and predict earthquakes or search for underground oil deposits. 



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