Science & Technology

This switch takes an important step closer to the quantum internet

Efforts to build an ultra-fast, ultra-safe quantum internet Steady progress, And scientists understood how an important part of the network works. It’s an integrated switch that manages how data is passed between users.

The newly built switch addresses one of the key barriers to building the quantum Internet: how information is distorted and lost as it moves. That information is transferred as photons emitted over the fiber optic network, but can be “lost” along the way.

By adjusting the amount of data sent to each user through a system that selects and redirects the wavelengths of light that carry different data channels, programmable switches increase users without causing additional photon loss. Can be dealt with.

(Navin Lingaraju / Purdue University)

Up: Programmable switches help increase the number of users in a quantum network without increasing photon loss.

“We will show you how to perform wavelength routing on one device (wavelength selection switch) to build a network of 12 to 20 users in principle, and in some cases even more.” Engineer Andrew Weiner says From Purdue University, Indiana.

“The previous approach required physically replacing dozens of fixed optical filters that were tuned for individual wavelengths, which made the ability to tune connections between users practically infeasible. And the possibility of photon loss has increased. “

The switch handles the transfer of data, eliminating the need to add these filters each time a new person logs on to the quantum network, reducing operational and maintenance costs and increasing efficiency.

Even better, the switch can adjust the bandwidth according to the specific needs of the user. It’s as much as someone streaming 4K video or checking email.

In the future, if you want to build and scale up your quantum network, you need to understand how to distribute it. Entanglement, The core concept of quantum physics – particles that are closely linked to each other over distance.

“When people talk about the quantum internet, it’s this idea of ​​producing Entanglement Remote between two different stations, such as between Quantum computer, ” Says Navin Lingaraju of the Graduate School of EngineeringAlso from Purdue University.

“Our method changes the rate at which entangled photons are shared between different users. These entangled photons are used as resources to entangle quantum computers or sensors at two different stations. May be done. “

There is still much work to be done to make this switch compatible with real quantum networks. The researchers behind it are already investigating how to make the switch work for more users at once. Like many advances As we have seen recently, such research is bringing us closer and closer to the ultimate goal of quantum communication.

The fragile nature of quantum information is Arbitrary quantum network Fine tuning and a delicate balance are needed, and new research can be an important part of achieving that.

One of the researchers’ techniques – High-density wavelength division multiplexing Or DWDM – already used in the telecommunications business to increase the bandwidth of fiber optic networks.

We believe that the more technology the quantum Internet can borrow from existing networks, the easier it will be to implement in the future.

“For the first time, we are trying to use equivalent equipment to incorporate something inspired by these classical communication concepts and point out the potential benefits to quantum networks.” Weiner says..

The study is published at Optica..

This switch takes an important step closer to the quantum internet This switch takes an important step closer to the quantum internet

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