(ScientificAmerican) Stephanie Wehner, a physicist and computer scientist at Delft University of Technology–one of the intellectual leaders of the effort to create the “quantum internet,” a network that would transmit — instead of classical bits with values of either 0 or 1—quantum bits in which both possibilities, 0 and 1, coexist. These “qubits” might be made of photons that are in a combination of two different polarizations. The ability to send qubits from one place to another over fiber-optic cables might not transform society as thoroughly as the classical internet, but it would once again revolutionize many aspects of science and culture, from security to computing to astronomy.
Wehner will speak at the upcoming IQTEurope Conference:
Wehner is the coordinator of the Quantum Internet Alliance, a European Union initiative to build a network for transmitting quantum information throughout the continent. She and two co-authors laid out a six-stage plan for realizing the quantum internet, where each developmental stage will support new algorithms and applications. The first stage is already underway, with the construction of a demonstration quantum network that will connect four cities in the Netherlands — a kind of Arpanet analogue. Tracy Northup, a member of the Quantum Internet Alliance based at the University of Innsbruck, praised “the breadth of Stephanie’s vision, and her commitment to building the kind of large-scale structures that will make it happen.”
NOTE: The Scientific American acknowledges the reprint of the original article to Quanta Magazine. A lengthy and recommended read summarized here in IQT.