Could drones help create a quantum internet?

With the quantum internet, the communications of the future would be faster and more secure; however it is necessary to think of a network to supply data. The future of the quantum internet could be solved with the use of fleets of drones to send data-providing light particles. This, after researchers from the University of Nanjing, China managed to send photons between two locations one kilometer apart, this internet distribution method would also be cheaper and safer compared to the fiber optic network.

The study carried out by this University affirms that entangled quantum particles retain their interconnected properties even when separated by long distances, these particles of light, or photons, are essential for the operation of the quantum internet supported only by quantum computers, which can encrypt information through secret codes. When thinking about using fiber optic cabling to manage the quantum internet, the researchers found that the signal weakened over long distances due to photon absorption, thus making the use of drones more practical and effective.

The researchers used two drones to transmit the photons a kilometer away between a base and the drone. A drone created pairs of entangled particles, scientists call photons, and sent them to a station on the surface while relaying the second particle to the second drone. This transmitted the received particle to a second ground station with a kilometer distance between the first station, under this mechanism, in the future, fleets of drones could work together to send interlinked particles to recipients in different locations.

Quantum computers are more secure compared to current equipment; any attempt to steal information would change the state of the photons. This will alert the user of the attempt and thus have response time to the attack. One of the main objectives of the researchers developing this project is to create a network of drones capable of distributing quantum internet around the world. Likewise, the quantum internet would allow quantum computers to work together to discover the limits of quantum physics in worldwide experiments.

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