Quantum cryptography is considered to be the ultimate solution in the fight against hacking. With the increase in the theft of confidential data on the Internet, researchers are working hard to develop this technology.
The idea is to use the properties of quantum physics to establish cryptographic protocols in order to achieve a level of security that cannot be achieved with conventional protocols. In fact, experts define quantum cryptography as a series of protocols used to distribute an encryption key between two remote parties.
A unique system
Individual photons, also known as light qubits, are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to hack. A change of state in one immediately causes a change in others. It is therefore necessary to view the whole as a single and global system.
Artist’s impression of a futuristic quantum computer. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Darkfoxelixir
However, in order for these qubits to remain stable and function properly, it is necessary to store them at temperatures close to absolute zero, i.e. -270 ° C. A state that requires a lot of energy, not to mention the infrastructure that may be associated with it. However, great strides have just been made in improving the concept.
A new way to store light qubits
In a new, recently published article, researchers from the University of Copenhagen say they have discovered a new way to store individual photons. The more interesting is the fact that this happens at room temperature, a hundred times longer than previously shown.
“We have developed a special coating for our memory chips that enables the light qubits to be the same and stable at room temperature. In addition, our new method allows us to store qubits for much longer – milliseconds instead of microseconds – which was not possible before. We are very pleased about that, ”explains Eugene Simon Polzik, Professor of Quantum Optics at the Niels Bohr Institute.
The invention is intended to make it possible to significantly reduce the effort involved in implementing quantum cryptography. In addition, it should better meet the requirements of the industry. “This is a much simpler technology that will be easier to implement in a future quantum Internet,” said Karsten Dideriksen, a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen who was involved in the project.
As promising as it is, this breakthrough will not benefit our computing technologies. A lot of research and development is actually needed before it can be implemented. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen only managed to produce one photon per second in their experiments. In comparison, cooled systems can produce millions of them in the same time.
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