(Yahoo.News) Physicists have extended the capabilities of secure quantum communication tenfold, marking a step forward in efforts to establish hack-proof network communications.
The latest research used China’s Micius satellite, the world’s first quantum communication satellite, launched in 2016, to conduct so-called entanglement-based distribution of quantum secret keys – a secure communications method that implements a cryptographic protocol – between two spots on Earth at a rate of 0.12 bits per second.
Those two sites, both equipped with quantum telescopes, are located in China’s northwest Qinghai province and the western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which are more than 1,000 kilometres apart. Entanglement is a phenomenon in quantum physics in which a pair of entangled particles remain connected and affect each other even when separated by great distances.
“Our method not only increases the secure distance on the ground tenfold, but also increases the practical security of quantum key distribution to an unprecedented level,” the study, co-authored by scientists from China and the University of Oxford in Britain, said.