Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have developed a first elementary prototype of a Quantum Network. It consists of two coupled single-atom nodes (embedded in optical cavities) capable of sending, receiving, storing photonic quantum information. The two systems, each representing a network node, have been installed in two laboratories separated by 21 meters and connected via a 60-meter long optical fiber.
Probably the most important property of a quantum network is the existence of entangled quantum states shared among several network nodes. This is a basis for quantum logic gate operations between nodes and can lead to complex quantum many-body phenomena: consider that quantum information is extremely fragile, on one side, but…it cannot be cloned (or copied) without detecting it !
The research, whose results are reported in this paper, is giving insights into fundamental questions of quantum physics, which might have impactful applications in future secure communication and quantum computing.
Science fiction today, but most probably another step towards Quantum Internet.