Five million dollar for quantum telecommunication

Five million dollars for quantum telecommunication



TU Delft and the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience have received a 5 million dollar grant from the Kavli Foundation to develop a quantum equivalent of telecommunications.


Quantum physicists and biophysicists from Delft University of Technology, QuTech and the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft formulated a proposal to search for broadband quantum communications. This coincided with the establishment of the $5 million (€4.6 million) Kavli Foundation Innovation Award, says project coordinator Mazhar Ali (Faculty of Applied Sciences, AS).


The researchers assume that in the near future, working quantum systems will become increasingly generalised. This will require a system that can send and receive quantum information, similar to how our current telecommunications networks do for computer signals.


“Current computers generate information at a frequency of a few gigahertz, while telecom signals vibrate a thousand times faster; at hundreds of terahertz,” Ali explains. “But qubits, for example, typically work at five to 10 gigahertz. That means we need to find a bridge from the qubit range of a few gigahertz to the telecom range of hundreds of gigahertz.” But unlike connecting contemporary computer data to a satellite, there is the additional challenge of preserving quantum mechanical information when sharing the signal. Ali: “We would like to use the same forms of communication we already have, preserving the information from quantum particles and their phase for a wide frequency range.”


The aim is to be able to demonstrate at least one form of quantum telecommunication around 2028.


Mazhar Ali on quantum telecommunications. (Video: The Kavli Foundation

Science editor Jos Wassink

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