(TerraQuantum) Terra Quantum AG announced recently that a global quantum communication line, 100 per cent protected from hackers, is a step closer to reality following its breakthrough. Terra Quantum researchers have shown the ability to distribute quantum keys over a distance of more than 40,000km, or the rough circumference of our planet.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is the concept on which a theoretically „hacker-proof“ communication lines will be built. QKD promises unconditional security of data communication and has widespread commerical application, across banking, government communication and consumer technology. It works by transmitting photons in particular quantum states to generate a secure cryptographic key. This key can then be used to encrypt data sent over an ordinary, non-quantum connection.
Markus Pflitsch, founder and CEO of Terra Quantum adds: “Until now, QKD had a critical limitation: distance. The greater the distance a signal travels, the more data leaks. This creates an opportunity for hackers to extract data. Terra Quantum has created superfast, 1 GB per second quantum key distribution over distances of more than 40,000 km. Such a speed enables the usage of one-time pad encryption protocols.
The Terra Quantum Protocol rests on laws of quantum physics. First, the Second Law of Thermodynamics prevents the backward collection of information carried away by randomly scattered waves due to inevitable photon scattering when propagating along the communication line.
Second, the electromagnetic waves’ fundamental quantum discreteness discovered by Max Planck prevents information leakage by arbitrary small portions. Finally, although cloning of the unknown quantum state is impossible, cloning photons, appearing in known quantum states used in the Terra Quantum Protocol, is a feasible task. The cloned photons obey Bose-Einstein statistics which allows them to accumulate in a single state, enabling the work of quantum amplifiers. This empowers the secure transmission of information over, in principle, arbitrary long distances.