(InsideHPC) ORNL and DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory will receive $12.5 million for one of the first two DOE-funded projects focused on enabling the quantum internet. Through the Quantum-Accelerated Internet Testbed project, or QuAInT, a multidisciplinary team of computer scientists, engineers and physicists will pursue objectives determined during last year’s Quantum Internet Blueprint Workshop.
Along with collaborators at the University of Arizona, ORNL scientists, including Lukens, Nageswara Rao and Bing Qi, will improve optical networks as part of the three-year Entanglement Management and Control in Transparent Optical Quantum Networks project, which will receive $1.8 million.
The ORNL team, which includes principal investigator and Quantum Information Science Group Leader Nicholas Peters and Wigner Fellow Joseph Lukens, will work with LANL, quantum technology company Qubitekk, Amazon Web Services, Purdue University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to design and deploy a quantum internet testbed capable of sending and receiving information on an intracity scale.
Over the next five years, the QuAInT team will develop numerous building blocks needed to enable the testbed and, eventually, a widespread quantum internet that could provide unparalleled storage capacity and cybersecurity advantages. Key components include quantum memory capabilities being developed at Purdue and multiple types of photon sources soon to be under construction at LANL and ORNL. These resources will eventually enable the partner institutions to share quantum data using satellites in a future space program.
Of the $61 million recently announced by the U.S. Department of Energy for quantum information science studies, $17.5 million will fund research at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. These projects will help build the foundation for the quantum internet, advance quantum entanglement capabilities — which involve sharing information through paired particles of light called photons — and develop next-generation quantum sensors.