US to launch a “virtually unhackable” internet.

  • US has unveiled the plans to develop a “virtually unhackable” internet using quantum computing technology.
  • The scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago laid down a 52 mile “quantum loop.”
  • David Awschalom called the project a pillar for US’ quantum research program.

On Thursday, US officials revealed a plan to pursue for a more secure “virtually unhackable” internet based on quantum computing technology.

During a presentation, the Department of Energy (DOE) officials laid down a blueprint strategy for the development of a national quantum Internet, using laws of quantum mechanics to transmit information more securely than on existing network.

They set goals for forging in their words a “second Internet”, one which will function alongside the existing networks of the globe.

In February, scientists from DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago created a 52 mile “quantum loop” in the Chicago suburbs. It is one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the country.

Quantum technology which is used to create internet relies on photons exhibiting a quantum state known as entanglement or the transmission of sub-atomic particles. This allows it to share information over long distances without having any physical connection.

“One of the hallmarks of quantum transmissions is that they are exceedingly difficult to eavesdrop on as information passes between locations,” according to the Energy Department statement.

“Scientists plan to use that trait to make virtually unhackable networks.”

The networks promise to be more secure — some even say unhackable — because of the nature of photons and other quantum bits, known as qubits. Any attempt to observe or disrupt these particles would automatically alter their state and destroy the information being transmitted, scientists say.

“Eventually, the use of quantum networking technology in mobile phones could have broad impacts on the lives of individuals around the world,” the statement added.

David Awschalom, a senior scientist at Argonne National laboratory, called the Internet project a pillar of the US’ quantum research program.

The country’s rival, China, is also investing heavily in quantum technology. This is a field which can confer big economic and national security advantages to countries that dominate it. Europe is also pursuing this field.

The Energy Department and its 17 national laboratories will form the backbone of this project.

In terms of the project’s funding, it is still unclear. However, Paul Dabbar, the undersecretary for science of Energy Department stated that the federal government invests around $500 to $700 million a year in quantum research, implying that some of which may to go the project.

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