Delft QuTech researchers have become the first in the world to create an ‘on demand’ quantum entanglement link.
Led by Prof. Ronald Hanson, the researchers succeeded in generating quantum entanglement between two quantum chips faster than the entanglement is lost.
Referred to by Einstein as ‘spooky action,’ entanglement is the link that could power the quantum internet of the future.
Experts have pointed out that quantum internet could provide the safest encryption possible – this being done by exploiting the power of quantum entanglement.
Yet the challenge lies in creating an entanglement reliably, ‘on demand’, and maintain it long enough to pass the entangled information to the next node.
The Hanson team at QuTech have thus become the first to experimentally generate entanglement over a distance of two metres in a fraction of a second, ‘on demand’, and subsequently maintain this entanglement long enough to enable further entanglement to a third node.
The group first gained recognition in 2015 when they generated long-lived quantum entanglement over a distance of 1.3 kilometers, allowing them to provide full experimental proof of quantum entanglement for the first time.
This now serves as the basis for their current approach in developing a quantum internet featuring distant single electrons on diamond chips that are entangled using photons as mediators.
Though the experiment has not had the necessary performance to create a real quantum network, the scientists have made multiple innovative improvements to the experiment.
First of all, they demonstrated a new entanglement method. This allows for the generation of entanglement forty times a second between electrons at a distance of two meters.
Peter Humphreys, an author of the paper, emphasizes: “This is a thousand times faster than with the old method.”
The experiment has also surpassed a crucial threshold by creating entanglement faster than it is lost, by protecting the quantum link from external noise.
The Delft scientists now plan to realize such a network between several quantum nodes: “In 2020, we want to connect four cities in the Netherlands via quantum entanglement. This will be the very first quantum internet in the world,” said Hanson in conclusion.
Image and content: Delft QuTech