A statement from the ANU said the quantum Internet would provide ultra-secure communications.
Associate Professor Andrey Sukhorukov, who led the research along with a team from the Nonlinear Physics Centre of the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering, said: “The light particles move really fast so, for quality-control purposes, we’ve developed a way to monitor and measure them along quantum circuits, which are like superhighways for the light particles to travel along."
Doctorate student Kai Wang, who worked on the project, said measuring light particles could interfere with the operation of the quantum circuit and thus there was a need to work around this challenge.
Associate Professor Andrey Sukhorukov and Kai Wang. Courtesy: ANU
“We guided light particles to two parallel paths, like two lanes on a highway: one lane has a faster speed limit than the other one, and light particles can freely change their lanes,” Wang said.
“Along both lanes there are several detectors to simultaneously check exactly how many light particles were passing these detectors at the same time.”
He said the team had lost only a small fraction of the light particles through this process, without affecting the quantum state of the transmitted light particles.
“Our detection system can be built into a large, integrated network of quantum circuits, to help monitor light particles in real time," Wang added.
The researchers who collaborated on the project, led by Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock in Germany, tested the feasibility of this new approach in experiments with custom-designed fabricated optical circuits.