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German boffins create quantum network

by on13 April 2012

String several dead or alive cats together

German researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have created what they are claimig is the first “universal quantum network.”

The big idea is that it could be feasibly scaled up to become a quantum internet. So far their quantum network connects two labs spaced 21 meters apart, but they think it could be scaled up, if Schroedinger’s cats do not stuff everything up by potentially appearing and disappearing like they do on Facebook.

Each node is represented by a single rubidium atom, trapped inside a reflective optical cavity. These atoms communicate with each other by emitting a single photon over an optical fibre. Each atom is a quantum bit and the polarization of the photon emitted carries the quantum state of the qubit. The receiving qubit absorbs the photon and takes on the quantum state of the transmitter. Voila: A network of qubits that can send, receive, and store quantum information.

Apparently the boffins could perform a read/write operation between two labs.

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