Quantum internet breakthrough connects two atoms from 30KM away

Quantum internet breakthrough connects two atoms from 30KM away
Fibre optic cables were used to break a quantum entanglement distance record, a major step in the development of a practical quantum internet.

The study, conducted by researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat München (LMU), marks a distance record for quantum entanglement, which could enable the atoms to function as quantum memory nodes, storing the information of a quantum photon without destroying its quantum information over industry-standard fibre optic cables.

The experiments saw two atoms kept in optical traps located in two different LMU facilities, separated by 700m of fibre optics which was extended out to 33km with spools of cable.

The atoms were excited via laser pulse, causing the atoms to emit a photon that became entangled with the atom.

The development of a practical quantum internet would offer a faster, more secure network, using existing fibre-optic networks which can be paired with satellites to beam entangled photons over thousands of kilometres.

Harald Weinfurter, professor, LMU, commented: “In this way, we were able to significantly reduce the loss of photons and thus create entangled quantum memories even over long fibre optic distances.

“The experiment is an important step on the way to the quantum internet based on existing fibre optic infrastructures.”

Photo credit: Jan Greune