Energy Department, UChicago to develop ‘completely secure’ nationwide quantum internet

A team led by the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago is creating a nationwide quantum internet to improve data protection, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A quantum internet, which could be serviceable in about 10 years, would be used by organizations that manage sensitive data, such as government agencies, hospitals and financial institutions.

Developing a quantum internet requires the research team to produce “entangled” photons, meaning they are linked together despite being widely distanced and run across fiber-optic cables, satellites and wireless communication technologies. Entangled photons work better to protect data than the encryption employed today, as entangled photons ensure data is scrambled if a hacker reaches it.

“A quantum network, because of physics, is by definition completely secure,” Paul Dabbar, the Energy Department’s undersecretary for science, told The Wall Street Journal.

The project is funded by a part of the National Quantum Initiative’s $1.275 billion budget and will be announced at an event at the University of Chicago July 23.

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