Researchers are a step closer to creating an untraceable ‘quantum Internet’ by FIONA MACDONALD

Scientists are figuring out how to create a ‘quantum Internet’ that will be totally secure and virtually unhackable. So secure, in fact, that even if someone did manage to listen in to your private communications, you’d immediately know about it.

That’s because the quantum Internet would store data in individual particles of light – known as photons – rather than beams of light, which are currently used to transmit information across our existing fibre optic networks. While information carried in classical light can be intercepted and read, photons can’t be measured without being destroyed – so any kind of hacking would be impossible.

Unfortunately, creating a quantum Internet is no easy feat, and scientists have been struggling for years to find a way to efficiently beam streams of single photons – or ‘quantum light’. Now a team from Stanford University may have done just that, by establishing a quantum light source that could become the basis of quantum connections.

The light source in question is a nanoscale laser, which beams light through a gallium arsenide chip, as shown below. This chip acts like a filter and allows classical light (pink) to pass through, while also producing quantum light (blue).


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