World's 1st multinode quantum network is a breakthrough for the quantum internet - Livescience.com
May 03, 2021 1 min, 55 secs

Researchers at the QuTech research center in the Netherlands created the system, which is made up of three quantum nodes entangled by the spooky laws of quantum mechanics that govern subatomic particles.

It is the first time that more than two quantum bits, or "qubits," that do the calculations in quantum computing have been linked together as "nodes," or network endpoints. .

"It will allow us to connect quantum computers for more computing power, create unhackable networks and connect atomic clocks and telescopes together with unprecedented levels of coordination," Matteo Pompili, a member of the QuTech research team that created the network at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told Live Science.

The biggest challenge in linking those qubits together into a quantum network is in establishing and maintaining a process called entanglement, or what Albert Einstein dubbed "spooky action at a distance." This is when two qubits become coupled, linking their properties so that any change in one particle will cause a change in the other, even if they are separated by vast distances. .

You can entangle quantum nodes in a lot of ways, but one common method works by first entangling the stationary qubits (which form the network's nodes) with photons, or light particles, before firing the photons at each other.

When they meet, the two photons also become entangled, thereby entangling the qubits.

This means, first, that the quantum nodes have to be kept at extremely cold temperatures inside devices called cryostats to minimize the chances that the qubits will interfere with something outside the system.

To solve the problem, the team created a network with three nodes, in which photons essentially "pass" the entanglement from a qubit at one of the outer nodes to one at the middle node.

The middle node has two qubits — one to acquire an entangled state and one to store it.

Once the entanglement between one outer node and the middle node is stored, the middle node entangles the other outer node with its spare qubit.

With all of this done, the middle node entangles its two qubits, causing the qubits of the outer nodes to become entangled.

To make the entangled photons and beam them to the nodes in the right way, the researchers had to use a complex system of mirrors and laser light.


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