Researchers have devised a new method to overcome a major hurdle in quantum communication development.
Data scientists consider quantum communication one of the most advanced fields of the “second quantum revolution.” It promises full data security, allowing involved parties to uncover eavesdropping attempts by using the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics.
According to quantum mechanics, any measurement affects the quantity that’s being measured. By using the measurements of the communication channel, unwanted parties trying to tamper with quantum-encrypted messages can be easily identified through the traces that they left behind.Researchers from Bar-Ilan University developed a new method to solve the data transfer speed issue in #quantum communication.Click To Tweet
In essence, quantum communication is the most secure channel that can be used to transfer highly classified information. However, it has one major drawback: its data transfer speed is slow. Apparently, its speed is limited by the pace at which the involved parties can perform quantum measurements.
Quantum Leap in Quantum Communication
In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from the Bar-Ilan University in Tel-Aviv devised a new method that solves the speed limit issue of quantum communication. Allegedly, the new technique can increase the rate of data transfer by over five orders of magnitude.
One fundamental tool in processing quantum information is homodyne detection. While it is deemed as a cornerstone of quantum optics, the standard homodyne method has limitations in its bandwidth strength.
Apparently, this conventional information processing method is limited only to the electronically accessible MHz-to-GHz range. A far cry from the quantum optical phenomena that are currently being exploited for quantum communication, which have bandwidths spanning into the THz.
This problem leaves a considerable gap between the relevant optical phenomena that are used to carry the quantum information and its measuring capacity. Thus, limiting the rate at which the quantum information can be processed.
According to a report from the Jerusalem Post, the researchers “replaced the electrical nonlinearity that serves as the heart of homodyne detection, which transforms the optical quantum information into a classical electrical signal, with a direct optical nonlinearity, transforming the quantum information into a classical optical signal.”
The method allowed the output signal of the measurement to remain in the optical regime while preserving the massive bandwidth that the quantum optical phenomena offer.
“What we’ve done is to offer a direct optical measurement that conserves the information bandwidth, instead of an electrical measurement that compromises the bandwidth of the quantum optical information,” Dr. Yaakov Shaked, one of the researchers from the Bar-Ilan University, said.
The researchers then successfully performed a simultaneous measurement of an “ultra-broadband quantum optical state,” spanning 55THz, “presenting non-classical behavior across the entire spectrum” to demonstrate their idea. If the standard method used in quantum communication was utilized, such measurement would be virtually impossible.
According to the researchers, their new form of quantum measurement could also have significant application in other branches of the “second quantum revolution” such as quantum sensing with super sensitivity, quantum computing with superpowers, and quantum imaging with super-resolution.