The US is developing a more secure national quantum internet that it claims could be functional within a decade. The Department of Energy (DOE) has laid out a blueprint for this “virtually unhackable” internet based on quantum technology — using laws of quantum mechanics to relay information more securely than on existing networks.
The strategy for building a national quantum internet was unveiled during a press conference at the University of Chicago. DOE says it will place the nation at the forefront of the global quantum race.
Back in February, with the help of university and industry researchers, the agency was able to set up a 52 mile (83 km) “quantum loop” in the Chicago suburbs. This makes it one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the US.
The aim is to create a parallel and more secure network based on the concept of quantum entanglement or the transmission of sub-atomic particles. DOE plans to create a prototype for the same in the next 10 years.
“The foundation of quantum networks rests on our ability to precisely synthesize and manipulate matter at the atomic scale, including the control of single photons,” said David Awschalom, a professor at the University of Chicago and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.
According to the Energy Department statement, the reasons behind using quantum transmission for a secure internet is that “they are exceedingly difficult to eavesdrop on as information passes between locations” which can help in creating “virtually unhackable networks.”
The agency says that the banking and health services sectors could be the early adopters for the quantum internet. It added that it could also be used for various applications in national security and aircraft communications.
Eventually, quantum networking technology would find its way in mobile phones causing a major impact on the lives of individuals around the world.