Scientists at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have engineered the first working quantum network. While the entire system is primitive, consisting of two entangled atoms that communicate using single photons, it is a big step forward into the future of computing.

 
Scientists at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have engineered the first working quantum network. While the entire system is primitive, consisting of two entangled atoms that communicate using single photons, it is a big step forward into the future of computing.
 
As traditional silicon computers advance, they are getting nearer and nearer to their physical limit, beyond which they will be unable to advance any further. This is a major problem not only to science, but to industries which depend on a constant consumer demand for faster and more powerful machines. The answer to this problem, many scientists think, is quantum computing.
 
The development of a quantum network is the fruit of years’ work, headed by Professor Gerhard Rempe. Many complex obstacles had to be overcome in order to gain “perfect control” over all the components of the system, which works by using individual atoms as nodes, which transmit and receive information using single photons as data packets.
 
The use of the network might seem less than impressive: two separate labs sixty feet apart were connected with a one hundred-eighty foot fiber optic cable. But, Professor Rempe told Scientific Computing “This approach to quantum networking is particularly promising because it provides a clear perspective for scalability.” Thus, the laboratory exercises were simply for the purposes of testing the concept, while scaling the system up to be used for more practical purposes may occur in the future.
 
A quantum network has advantages over a network based on classical technology, especially in its rate of transfer. The same property which gives quantum computers their incredible power also gives the network a powerful punch in its transfer speed. A quantum internet doesn’t sound like a bad idea.