Quantum network to test unhackable communications

Oct. 26, 2018

As the number of hacks and security breaches rapidly climbs, scientists say there may be a way to make a truly unhackable network by using the laws of quantum physics.

To explore the concept, scientists are creating a network in the Chicago area that taps the principles of quantum physics to send information. Such a link could one day form the basis for a truly secure network, which would have wide-ranging impact on communications, computing, and national security. The federal government estimates that malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016.

The quantum network, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will stretch between the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Acceleratory Laboratory, a connection that is expected to be among the longest in the world to send secure information using quantum physics. The experiment will “teleport” information across a 30-mile distance, as particles change their quantum states instantaneously rather than traveling between two points.

As the result of a growing focus on quantum research among scientists at Argonne, Fermilab, and UChicago, the three institutions have formed a partnership, the Chicago Quantum Exchange, involving 70 scientists and engineers and bringing together the intellectual talents, research capabilities, and engineering power of the three affiliated institutions.

The new communications network taps the strange laws of quantum mechanics, which govern the interactions of the smallest particles.

Part of the interest in the development of quantum systems stems from a rule of quantum mechanics that states that measuring a quantum particle alters its state. Scientists believe that a quantum system could be virtually unhackable because, if someone tries to look at a transmission, it would be disturbed, the information destroyed, and the senders alerted.

The quantum systems being developed at Fermilab and Argonne will eventually tap an underground link first built in the 1980s to test data transfer. The optical fiber cables are still undisturbed and functional, scientists said.

Newswise has the full story

Sponsored Recommendations

Enhancing Remote Radiology: How Zero Trust Access Revolutionizes Healthcare Connectivity

This content details how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures high performance, compliance, and scalability, overcoming the limitations of traditional VPN solutions...

Spotlight on Artificial Intelligence

Unlock the potential of AI in our latest series. Discover how AI is revolutionizing clinical decision support, improving workflow efficiency, and transforming medical documentation...

Beyond the VPN: Zero Trust Access for a Healthcare Hybrid Work Environment

This whitepaper explores how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures secure, least privileged access to applications, meeting regulatory requirements and enhancing user...

Enhancing Remote Radiology: How Zero Trust Access Revolutionizes Healthcare Connectivity

This content details how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures high performance, compliance, and scalability, overcoming the limitations of traditional VPN solutions...