As researchers and organizations are working aggressively toward a commercial quantum computer, the question is, Will there be a quantum Internet?
Quantum Internet means that the network will be able to transmit the quantum data and the qubits over long distances as it is being done today with the classical computers transmitting the 0s and the 1’st. As of now, there is no quantum internet but the researchers are working towards creating small quantum networks and then possibly expanding these small quantum networks as the quantum computing power increases with a large number of qubits. The system has to be efficient and ensure that the information in the qubits is transmitted without getting lost
So, what will the quantum computer look like?
The quantum internet will be a global network, transmitting qubits between quantum machines over a considerable distance. The information will be distributed via a phenomenon which is called entanglement in quantum physics. Scientists at the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory have created an optical network that transmits quantum information over a long distance that is unhackable.
As quantum computing is taking place, companies across the globe are trying their expertise to innovate. They are collaborating with research institutes to create new algorithms and speed up the process of innovation. The initial challenge is also to develop machines with a large number of qubits and improve stability. IBM, in 2021 released a 127 qubit IBM quantum Eagle processor and Qiskit runtime to execute the quantum circuits. As part of their roadmap in 2023 and beyond, they want to enable parallelized quantum processors. At the center for Quantum networks ( NSF engineering research center) A team of computer scientists is also working with physicists and material scientists for creating protocols and designing the architecture of a quantum internet. Named Thrust 1 ) https://cqn-erc.org/research/thrusts/thrust-1, the goal is to build a quantum network that can provide shared entanglement and quantum information transfer reliability over the network.
The project also involves
1) Quantum network Capacity – Developing an algorithm for routing and scheduling entanglement flows in a quantum network.
2) Quantum Routing and scheduling – Resource allocation policies that can achieve peak performance in the face of noise and memory decoherence.
3) Quantum network Tomography – inferring a characterization for noise in the transmission of quantum information through links of a quantum network. Developing techniques, protocols, and algorithms for characterizing channels connecting network nodes such as repeaters and switches
4) Quantum network Simulation – Developing predictive entanglement generation simulations. Establishing virtual quantum network labs. Developing a mixed signal multi-formalism quantum simulator.
What is important in a quantum internet is the transmission of the qubits. Unlike the traditional transfer of bits through optical fibers, photons that carry qubits can degrade and may not reach the destination. Kindly note that qubits cannot be cloned. So to send the quantum information the phenomenon of quantum entanglement is used. In quantum entanglement, the two particles are linked in such a way that when you measure one, the state of the other particle is also known. The same entanglement can be used to transfer the quantum information.
What is Quantum Teleportation
The word teleportation takes us back to the time of Star Trek where a beam of photons will transfer humans or objects from one destination to another within a fraction of a second.
Quantum Teleportation transfers quantum information from one point to another, from a sender to a receiver. Although in Star Trek, they portrayed teleportation to disintegrate the matter at one location and integrate it into another location. However, in quantum computing, it is a technique to transfer quantum information from the source to the destination with the phenomenon of entanglement.