Topic Title: Quantum internet
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Created On: 07/25/2013 12:28 PM
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 07/25/2013 12:28 PM
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stumped
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QUOTE: "

How Scientists Stopped Light Dead For a Whole Minute

 

Of all the things you might choose to halt in its tracks, the world's fastest—light—might not be at the top your list. Clearly, you don't have the ambition of the team of scientists who just managed to stop it dead—for a whole minute.

In a vacuum, light usually travels at just under a bewildering 300 million metres per second. Teams have attempted to stop it in the past: first they slowed it to just 17 metres per second in 1999 and then stopped it for a fraction of a second two years later.

Now, though, a team from University of Darmstadt has managed to stop light for an entire minute. So how'd they do it? Well, not easily, that's for sure. First, they took an opaque crystal and fired lasers into it to disturb the quantum states of the atoms within. By creating two quantum states within those atoms, they were able to make the originally opaque material transparent to a tightly defined frequency range of light.

Then, they shot another laser beam of the right frequency through that newly transparent region, before turning off the disturbing laser beam to make the material once more opaque. The result: a laser beam, halted within the material. The beam was held in place for a whole minute—enough time for it to travel 18 million kilometers, or 20 round trips to the moon, if it had been left unimpeded.

Related
Government Lab Admits to Using Quantum Internet for Two Years

This might be the biggest tech humblebrag ever. A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Labs has quietly shrugged its shoulders and admitted to… Read…

Interestingly, they were also able to store—and then retrieve—an image using the same technique (OK, three stripes, but still...). That suggests that data can be stored in a stationary light beam, a trick which is required to make something known as a quantum repeater, the missing piece of the puzzle in creating a true quantum internet. If the scientists can use the knowledge to make such a thing, the future of the internet just got super, super quick—unlike some of the light that will be fueling it. [Physical Review Letters via New Scientist]

http://gizmodo.com/how-scientists-stopped-light-dead-for-a-whole-minute-909262499?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gizmodo%2Ffull+%28Gizmodo%29&utm_content=My+MSN



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* A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/25/2013 12:29 PM
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stumped
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Government Lab Admits to Using Quantum Internet for Two Years

 

This might be the biggest tech humblebrag ever. A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Labs has quietly shrugged its shoulders and admitted to the fact that, yeah, it's been using quantum internet for, like, the last two years. Whatever.

Steady on there, cowboy! If you're not familiar with the concept of a quantum internet, then you should be. The dream of many a security expert, it's a concept that uses the laws of quantum mechanics to create perfectly secure online communication. The idea is that measuring a characteristic of a quantum object—like a photon—always changes it, so attempts to intercept messages screws them up and renders them incomprehensible.

Problem is, most quantum internet solutions only allow messages to be sent between two locations, and not routed elsewhere. That's because working out where it's supposed to be routed changes the state of the quantum message and turns it into junk.

But the team from Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico has revealed that it has a different kind of quantum internet—that it's been using for the past two years. Technology Review describes how it works:

Their approach is to create a quantum network based around a hub and spoke-type network. All messages get routed from any point in the network to another via this central hub... The idea is that messages to the hub rely on the usual level of quantum security. However, once at the hub, they are converted to conventional classical bits and then reconverted into quantum bits to be sent on the second leg of their journey. So as long as the hub is secure, then the network should also be secure.

While that technique could be hindered by scalability, the team claims to have overcome that problem by equipping each node in the network with quantum transmitters, but not detectors. With only the hub capable of receiving quantum messages, it gets one-time messages from nodes which it uses to set up secure data transfer via a normal internet protocol.

The result isn't necessarily true quantum internet—but it offers a comparable level of security. And you know, has worked for two years. The only issue, of course, is the security of that central hub—and it remains to be seen whether that centralized point of risk will stop the Los Alamos solution hitting the mainstream. [arXiv via Technology Review]

http://gizmodo.com/government-lab-admits-to-using-quantum-internet-for-two-493293340



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* A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory *

 07/25/2013 12:52 PM
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Mime
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Capturing the information "carried by" a photon and sending it on its way at some later point is different than stopping or slowing down the photon its self.

These stories make the rounds every now and then, but that detail always seems to get left out.



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