Scientists create the world’s first quantum router

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Challenging the current knowledge, researchers develop technique to route packets with quantum information.

We love thinking about the future of the Internet and how it can benefit from the quantum world, without knowing for sure how this technology works. Now, Chinese physicists have created what we call “the world’s first quantum router”, allowing future studies to direct the qubits to the right destination.

Quantum mechanics may revolutionize the way information transfer. Instead of sending only 1s or 0s, this new technology may send the two pieces of information simultaneously. Currently, scientists are able to send photons contain quantum information via optical fiber, but are not able to make this photon take other routes, namely, that the best way to be forwarded to its final destination.

Duplicate to destroy

There are problems that until then had not been overcome. To know where the information package should arrive, for example, you must read this information before – but reading the control signal in the quantum world may end up destroying them.

The new “device” invented by researchers at the University of Tsinghau in China creates a photon quantum, which is the superposition of two separate photons, polarized differently. After this quantum photon is split into two photons of lower energy and that share the same duality of polarization. Thus, the router can read information from a photon, be destroyed after this, use the “clone” it to be transported to your destination.

Of course, in principle, this is just a proof of concept that routing of quantum bits can be realized. However, it is easy to see that humanity has taken the first steps for the future.

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