Quantum communication is the transfer of information from one place to another by using the principles of quantum mechanics such as the interaction of molecules, atoms and photons.
Need for Quantum Communication?
Hardly a week goes by without incident reports of some new hack that has exposed huge amounts of sensitive information, from people’s credit card details and health records to companies valuable property. These threats imposed by cyber attacks is forcing governments, and businesses to explore more secure ways of transmitting information.
At present sensitive data is been encrypted and sent via fibre optic cables with keys to decode the information. The data and the keys are sent as electrical pulses representing 1’s and 0’s.Hackers can read and copy bits in transit without leaving a trace.
Quantum communication makes use of the laws of quantum physics to protect data. Communication is made possible by the manipulation of the photons, resulting in an instantaneous change in the corresponding photons. These laws of quantum physics allow particle, typically photons for sending data along optical cables—to take on a state of superposition. These particles are referred to as quantum bits, or qubits.
The advantage of qubits from a security point of view is that if a hacker tries to observe them in transit, their super-fragile quantum state “collapses” to either 1 or 0. This means a hacker can’t tamper with the qubits without leaving behind a sign of the activity.
Some companies have taken advantage of this property of qubits to create networks for passing highly confidential data based on a process called quantum key distribution, or QKD.
Quantum Key Distribution(QKD) :
QKD involves sending encrypted information as classical bits over networks, while the keys to decrypt the information are encoded and transmitted in a quantum state using qubits.
In recent days more QKD networks emerge. The longest is in China, which has a 2,032-kilometer (1,263-mile) ground link between Beijing and Shanghai.
Future of Quantum Communication:
The quantum race is already underway. Governments and private investors all around the world are pouring billions of dollars into quantum research and development. Satellite-based quantum key distribution for encryption has been demonstrated, laying the groundwork for a possible quantum security-based global communication network. Quantum networks and the quantum internet will revolutionize communication. Once they are fully developed and adopted on a wide scale, people will not only be able to communicate at speeds orders of magnitude faster than today, but they will no longer need to worry about security.