(AsianScientist) The internet struggles with key vulnerabilities, such as the need for greater security and speed. To address the internet’s Achilles’ heel, scientists have turned to quantum physics for its unique and peculiar properties—quantum bits of information, or qubits, that can simultaneously live in a quantum superposition of 0 and 1, in contrast to classical bits of information that are strictly binary.
A team led by Professor Pan Jianwei of the University of Science and Technology of China, who is frequently referred to as “the father of quantum,” is feverishly developing technologies that will someday form the backbone of a global quantum network. Compared to the traditional communication networks that are prone to malicious eavesdroppers, a quantum network exploits the unique properties of quantum physics to provide an unbreakable system of information transfer.
While a full-blown quantum network based on this technology might still be in its infancy, specialized functionalities are already within reach today. One such near-term application is quantum key distribution (QKD), which uses entangled photons to provide a shared cryptographic key for two parties to securely exchange messages over conventional networks. NOTE: Click here for IQT’s market research report on quantum key distribution.