China's Intercontinental Quantum Communication Network Is Now Online

China has completed its own quantum key network; a perfectly secure network for communication across the globe.

Quantum cryptography will provide unbreakable security for individuals, companies, and governments. These systems can create unbreakable codes and provide a new level of secure communications. Guided by the laws of quantum mechanics, the laws that dictate what happens on a subatomic level, this technology cannot be corrupted.

Just this past week China has completed its own quantum key network; a massive network that spans Europe and Asia. 

The Quantum Key Network 

The personal and sensitive data that people share across the globe is encrypted, but that encryption is not as reliable as you think. As encryption technology grows so does the cracking technology. China's quantum network could end this battle. The satellite network would perfectly encrypt signals over large distances. Quantum keys are long strings of numbers that cannot be copied and are not only protected by the limits of computers but also by the laws of physics themselves.

The headpiece of the Chinese network is the record-breaking satellite Micius. A powerful photon relay and detector, Micius uses its fine lasers and detectors to send out quantum information and receive information at incredible speeds.

Physics

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The satellite has accomplished impressive feats over the years. Just in 2017, the satellite sent two entangled photons to ground stations that were 745 miles apart. A few months later Micius teleported a packet of quantum information 870 miles from Tibet into orbit.  After a series of successful tests, Micius proved to be not only the perfect tool for China's quantum key network but also a major step in the right direction for the world of quantum cryptography.

Quantum Leaps

In short, the quantum key is based off one of the foundational principles of quantum mechanics, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. The theory states that "the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time, even in theory. The very concepts of exact position and exact velocity together, in fact, have no meaning in nature."     

Using the quantum states of particles, a sender and receiver can use those same states to generate a string of numbers. Those strings encrypt all forms of information including, videos, financial information, text, article etc. 

Right now the network is not absolutely perfect, those flaws, however, are in the satellite, not in the quantum keys themselves. Regardless, this is a massive quantum leap in cybersecurity.