January 30, 2022
Quantum Internet can reach you through drones.
Scientists have now used drones to transmit light particles, or photons, that exhibit a quantum correlation called co-entanglement. Researchers at Nanjing University in China reported in a study published in Physical Review Letters that photons were sent to two locations a kilometer apart.
Intertwined quantum particles can retain their interconnected properties even when separated over long distances. Such anti-intuitive behavior can be curbed to activate new forms of communication. Eventually, scientists want to build a global quantum internet based on the transmission of quantum particles to enable super-secure communication, using particles to create secret codes to encrypt messages. Quantum internet may also allow remote quantum computers to work together or conduct experiments that test the frontiers of quantum physics.
Quantum networks made of fiber optic cables are currently in use (SN: 09/28/20). A quantum satellite can send photons through China (SN: 06/17/15). UAVs can be used as another technology for such networks, which has the advantages of being easy to transport, relatively fast, and relatively cheap. The researchers used two drones to transmit the photons. A drone created a pair of intertwined particles and sent one particle to a ground station and the other to the second drone. The device then transmits the received particle to the second ground station, one kilometer away from the first station. In the future, fleets of drones can work together to send entangled particles to receivers in different locations.
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