Understanding and manipulating the quantum world is no easy feat for scientists. Nevertheless, the quantum world holds the keys to unlocking a host of new technology, including quantum computing, cybersecurity, and maybe even teleportation.
This past week a group of scientists at the Arm RDECOM Research Laboratory has come across a new way to safeguard quantum information during transmission, a finding that could allow for secure and dependable communication on the battlefield.
Now, if you haven't noticed already scientists have been making serious headway in the quantum world. Major tech companies across the globe are in a sort of quantum arms race to create the first fully functioning quantum computer.
Breakthroughs in other scientific fields like nanophysics and photonics have set the board perfectly for the manipulation of quantum systems creating entirely new areas of science like Quantum Information Science, or QIS.
This area of science studies information encoded in quantum systems and encompasses quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum sensing among other subfields.
QIS will impact the way the world shares information, communicates with each other and, secure (encryption) information on a level the world has never seen before.
Army scientists new discovery could bring the world a step closer to mastering QIS. Transmitting and processing quantum information can be tricky. Traditionally, information is corrupted during manipulation and transmission creating what is called “noise” an issue that communication engineers are working on every day.
Noise is traditionally filtered out locally or the place where the information is received. However, when delving into the quantum world, you have to approach this noise issue very differently. The Army team of scientists have been looking into ways of filtering noise from little bits of quantum information (qubits) sent across fiber-optic telecom links.
In their research the team, Drs. Daniel Jones, Brian Kirby, and Michael Brodsky have discovered that filtering does not need to be done by the receiving party. Described by Brian Kirby, “The nature of the quantum states in which the information is encoded is such that the filtering could be more easily done at a different location in the network.”
Think of it like being able to create one simple filter across the quantum system, allowing for information to be processed freely with little to no noise. For researchers, to fix a qubit sent over a certain route, one could apply a filter to other qubits that cross a different route. This, in turn, could create super secure and reliable ways of communication.
As stated by Michael Brodsky of the Army’s RDECOM Research Laboratory, "We believe that this research has a potential to revolutionize cybersecurity and to enable secure secret sharing and authentication for the warfighter of the future."