Beyond computing, quantum technologies give rise to novel ways of fast and secure data transmission (i.e., quantum Internet), which has been successfully tested, and, at least in theory, will be unbreakable.
The quantum internet is a network that will let quantum devices exchange some information within an environment that harnesses the weird laws of quantum mechanics. In theory, this would lend the quantum internet unprecedented capabilities that are impossible to carry out with today’s web applications.
In the quantum world, data can be encoded in the state of qubits, which can be created in quantum devices like a quantum computer or a quantum processor. And the quantum internet, in simple terms, will involve sending qubits across a network of multiple quantum devices that are physically separated. Crucially, all of this would happen thanks to the whacky properties that are unique to quantum states.
- One of the most exciting avenues that researchers, armed with qubits, are exploring, is security.
- When it comes to classical communications, most data is secured by distributing a shared key to the sender and receiver, and then using this common key to encrypt the message. The receiver can then use their key to decode the data at their end.
- The security of most classical communication today is based on an algorithm for creating keys that is difficult for hackers to break, but not impossible. That’s why researchers are looking at making this communication process “quantum”. The concept is at the core of an emerging field of cybersecurity called quantum key distribution (QKD).
- QKD works by having one of the two parties encrypt a piece of classical data by encoding the cryptography key onto qubits. The sender then transmits those qubits to the other person, who measures the qubits in order to obtain the key values.