Dutch company QuTech recently laid out a framework for Quantum Internet, publishing their proposal in Science magazine. The total outline contains six phases, starting with a small network of entangled qubits capable of secure quantum communications and ending with an entire network of interconnected quantum computers capable of surpassing the speed of wi-fi and even 5g by several orders of magnitude.
At different steps in the roll out new applications are possible such as super precise global clockwork and telescope synchronization. The final pursuit of which is an international quantum internet that could very well help to unite the entire emerging multi-discplinary field of quantum computing under some sort of convergent goal.
As of right now they’re building tools for transmitting qubits (entangled particles that represent data) across a considerable distance, which they hope will drastically improve coordination between two locations. Due to the nature of entanglement in quantum mechanics qubits are capable of processing information by communicating at a speed surpassing event that of light. This is why quantum internet could lead to perfectly synchronized clocks and telescopes. But let that not devalue the importance of light moving forward as one of the main emergent strategies for broadcasting quantum internet is by transmitting the information via light in a way that resembles an advanced form of fibre optic capable directed by entangled subatomic particles.
Qutech Delft University of Technology and Netherlands Organization for Spplied Scientific Research outlined milestones for quantum internet development that correlate with specific applications..
the 1st milestone is a Prepare and Measure Network that enables delivery of single qubits back and forth between two locations whereas the last milestone involves the entanglement of entire quantum computer networks across the globe, allowing the most advanced applications.
On the one hand, we would like to build ever more advanced stages of such at network”, says Stephanie Wehner, lead author of the work, “On the other hand, quantum software developers are challenged to reduce the requirements of application protocols so they can be realized already with the more modest technological capabilities of a lower stage.” Co-author Ronald Hanson adds: “This work establish a much-needed common language between the highly interdisciplinary field of quantum networking spanning physics, computer science and engineering.”