World’s first link layer protocol brings quantum internet closer to a reality

Utilizing the link layer protocol, greater-layer software application can ask for the production of entanglement without requiring to understand which quantum hardware system remains in package. Credit: QuTech/Scixel

Scientists from QuTech have actually accomplished a world’s first in quantum internet technology. A group led by Teacher Stephanie Wehner has actually established a so-called link layer protocol that brings the phenomenon of quantum entanglement from speculative physics to a real-world quantum network. This brings closer the day when quantum internet can end up being a reality, providing applications that are difficult to accomplish through classical internet. The work existed today at ACM SIGCOMM.

In classical computing, a collection of software application layers referred to as the network stack permits computer systems to interact with each other. Underlying the network stack are interactions procedures, such as the internet protocol or HTTP. Stephanie Wehner described that a person important protocol utilized by a network is the link layer protocol, which conquers the issues brought on by imperfect hardware: “All of us use classical link layer protocols in everyday life. One example is Wi-Fi, which allows an unreliable radio signal—suffering from interruptions and interference—to be used to transmit data reliably between compatible devices.”

A quantum network, based upon transmission of quantum bits, or qubits, needs the very same level of dependability. Stephanie Wehner states, “In our work, we have proposed a quantum network stack, and have constructed the world’s first link-layer protocol for a quantum network.”

It ends up that existing classical procedures cannot assist in the quantum world. One obstacle exists by distinctions in between the innovations utilized. Stephanie Wehner: “Currently, qubits cannot be kept in memory for very long. This means control decisions on what to do with them need to be taken very quickly. By creating this link layer protocol, we have overcome obstacles presented by some very demanding physics.”

There are likewise some essential distinctions in between a future quantum internet and the internet that we see today. Stephanie Wehner stated that 2 quantum bits can be knotted: “Such entanglement is like a connection. This is very different to the situation for classical link layer protocols where we typically just send signals. In that case, there is no sense of connection built in at a fundamental level.”

Quantum internet

The phenomenon of entanglement forms the basis of a quantum internet. When 2 essential particles are knotted, they are gotten in touch with each other in such a manner in which absolutely nothing else can have any share of this connection. Scientist Axel Dahlberg stated that this allows a entire brand-new variety of applications “Security is one important application. It is physically impossible to eavesdrop on an entangled network connection between two users. To give another example, the technology also allows improved clock synchronization, or it can join up astronomical telescopes that are a long way apart, so they act as a huge single telescope.”

Scientist Matthew Skrzypczyk stated that an essential function of the proposed quantum network stack and the link layer protocol is that it any future software application composed utilizing the protocol will work with numerous quantum hardware platforms. “Someone who makes use of our link layer protocol no longer needs to know what the underlying quantum hardware is. In our paper, we study the protocol’s performance on Nitrogen-Vacancy centers in diamond, which are essentially small quantum computers. However, our protocol can also be implemented on Ion Traps, for example. This also means our link layer protocol can be used in the future on many different types of quantum hardware.”

Structure a quantum network system

Stephanie Wehner stated that the next action will be to test and show a brand-new network layer protocol utilizing the link layer protocol: “Our link layer protocol allows us to reliably generate entanglement between two network nodes connected by a direct physical link, such as a telecom fiber. The next step is to produce entanglement between network nodes which are not connected directly by a fiber, using the help of an intermediary node. In order to realize large scale quantum networks, it is important to go beyond a physics experiment, and move towards building a quantum network system. This is one of the objectives EU-funded Quantum Internet Alliance (QIA).”

Researchers make first ‘as needed’ entanglement link

More details:
A Link Layer Protocol for Quantum Networks, by Axel Dahlberg et al., Preprint:

Offered by
Delft University of Technology

World’s first link layer protocol brings quantum internet closer to a reality (2019, August 20)
obtained 21 August 2019

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