Quantum leap? US plans for unhackable internet may not fructify within a decade, but India is far behind – The Financial Express

Last week, the US department ofenergy released a blueprint for a nationalquantum internet. The project if successful, the government claimed, willensure a safer and nearly unhackableinternet within the next decade. Earlierthis year, the University of Chicago, oneof the participants in DoEs project, hadcreated a 52-mile quantum loop totransfer subatomic particles.

The US, however, is not the only country to be working on quantum internet.

Dutch researchers are expected to es tablish a link between Delft and the Hague later this year. In February, Chineseresearchers, in a paper published in Nature had claimed to have successfully demonstrated some success in thisregard over a 50 km range.

Last year, when Google announcedthat its quantum computer had inchedcloser towards quantum supremacy when a computer can perform tasks that are out of reach for even the mostadvanced supercomputer blockchainexperts had expressed concerns aboutthe technology as it would make it easyto break encryption. Recently, currencyexchange and payments platform, Ripples CTO said that quantum computers could pose a threat to blockchain technology and bitcoin. Given that development of quantum computers is happening at an accelerated pace, there is also aneed for a quantum internet to transferinformation without danger of hacking.

While the US experiments are laudable, all eyes will now be on the Dutchresearchers as they would also demonstrate a quantum repeater, which willhelp transport a single photon over long distances. The problem, till now, in establishing such a network has been transferring a photon. A repeater, if successful,can make this a reality.

The success, in this case, is dependenton a property of quantum particles called entanglement.

Entanglementallows two photons, when observed, at aconsiderable distance to take opposite values from each other. Albert Einsteinin a 1935 EPR paper had discussed entanglement buttermedit as a spookyphenomenon as it defied his laws on relativity. Bell later confirmed Einsteinsobservation. But using photons has beenimpossible largely because a photon cannot be cloned. Any interference destroysthe information. And, this property iswhat makes them safe as well.

But developing a point-to-point connection is quite different from creatinga network. Dr Apoorva D Patel, one ofIndias leading quantum researchers anda professor at Centre for High EnergyPhysics, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru says that we are still a long wayfrom establishing a network. We wouldneed hubs, relays, standard storage anderror correction, and all this is still yearsaway. He also debunks the claims of aquantum internet within a decade. The10-year timeline is the governmentshypothesis, not the scientists hypothesis Even if it is developed, the speeds DrPatel says will be much slower, probablyby a factor of thousand, than the regular internet. And this will not improve. So, itwill have only limited application.

Besides, the system is not entirelyunhackable.The quantum transmission is unhackable, but end-points are still hackable. The sending and receiver stations are vulnerable, as at those points you are trying to convert the classical signal into the quantum signal or vice versa, Dr Patel says.

Even worse, India may only be a spectator in this quantum race. We are farbehind in terms of the quantum internet, and much more behind when itcomes to quantum computers. We arestarting from scratch, and the government will need to do more, Dr Patelhighlights.

While the government announced aplan to invest Rs 8,000 crore over the nextfive years in the National Mission onquantum technology in the Budget, nodisbursement has been made till now.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know markets Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Read the rest here:
Quantum leap? US plans for unhackable internet may not fructify within a decade, but India is far behind - The Financial Express

Related Post

Comments are closed.