Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Space race under way to create quantum satellite

Abstract:
In this month's special edition of Physics World, focusing on quantum physics, Thomas Jennewein and Brendon Higgins from the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, Canada, describe how a quantum space race is under way to create the world's first global quantum-communication network.

Space race under way to create quantum satellite

London, UK | Posted on March 1st, 2013

The field of quantum communication - the science of transmitting quantum states from one place to another - has received significant attention in the last few years owing to the discovery of quantum cryptography.

Quantum cryptography exploits a unique property of single particles, such as photons: they can exist in two separate states - such as vertically polarized or horizontally polarized - or something in-between, known as a quantum superposition. Upon measuring the state of a particle you instantly change this state, meaning an encryption key made of photons can be passed between two parties safe in the knowledge that if an eavesdropper intercepts it, this would be noticed.

Quantum cryptography has been described as a way of creating "unbreakable" messages and has attracted the attention of major technology companies, governments, banks and other security-focused clients.

The transmission of encryption keys over long distances still remains a significant challenge for scientists, however, as the intensity of signals tends to weaken as they travel further because photons get absorbed or scattered off molecules.

Up until now, the furthest that quantum-communication signals have been sent is a few hundred kilometres, which would realistically enable communication between just one or two cities.

There is one place, however, where scattering doesn't appear to happen - empty space. Jennewein and Higgins lead just one of several teams around the world looking to take advantage of this by pursuing the concept of a quantum satellite.

A signal travelling from a ground station on Earth to a satellite would spend most of its time in the empty vacuum of space - rather than in Earth's atmosphere, which is crowded with gas molecules - so the signal would travel a lot further without weakening.

A satellite orbiting at around 32000 km above Earth would act as a kind of relay between two ground stations in a way that allows them to establish a secure link by sharing an encryption key made of photons.

In addition to the basic mass and power of the satellite itself, the team led by Jennewein and Higgins has been studying the overall design features of the satellite and ground stations and has emphasized the need for them both to be precisely aligned so they can be certain that what they are measuring correctly corresponds to the photons that are prepared.

"With the prospect of global-scale quantum communications and fundamental quantum science within new, unexplored regimes, the next few years are sure to be exciting," Jennewein and Higgins write.

Also in this issue:

- In praise of weakness - How "weak measurements" are transforming our understanding of the quantum world
- Nature's quantum subways - Could quantum tunnelling be the cause of mutations in our DNA?
- A calculated effort - How ultracold atoms are edging us towards Feynman's dream of a universal quantum simulator

####

About Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organization with a worldwide membership of more than 45,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

We engage with policy-makers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.

About Physics World

Physics World is the international monthly magazine published by the Institute of Physics. For further information or details of its editorial programme, please contact the editor, Dr Matin Durrani, tel +44 (0)117 930 1002. The magazine's website physicsworld.com is updated regularly and contains daily physics news and regular audio and video content. Visit http://physicsworld.com .

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Michael Bishop

+44 (0)11 7930 1032

Copyright © Institute of Physics

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Leti to Offer Updates on Silicon Photonics Successes at OFC in LA February 27th, 2015

Moving molecule writes letters: Caging of molecules allows investigation of equilibrium thermodynamics February 27th, 2015

Untangling DNA with a droplet of water, a pipet and a polymer: With the 'rolling droplet technique,' a DNA-injected water droplet rolls like a ball over a platelet, sticking the DNA to the plate surface February 27th, 2015

Maximum Precision in 3D Printing: New complete solution makes additive manufacturing standard for microfabrication February 26th, 2015

Physics

Moving molecule writes letters: Caging of molecules allows investigation of equilibrium thermodynamics February 27th, 2015

Law enforcement/Anti-Counterfeiting/Security/Loss prevention

Novel solid-state nanomaterial platform enables terahertz photonics February 17th, 2015

Waterloo invention advances quantum computing research: New device, which will be used in labs around the world to develop quantum technologies, produces fragile entangled photons in a more efficient way February 16th, 2015

Smart keyboard cleans and powers itself -- and can tell who you are January 21st, 2015

Fraud-proof credit card possible because of quantum physics December 16th, 2014

Announcements

Leti to Offer Updates on Silicon Photonics Successes at OFC in LA February 27th, 2015

Moving molecule writes letters: Caging of molecules allows investigation of equilibrium thermodynamics February 27th, 2015

Untangling DNA with a droplet of water, a pipet and a polymer: With the 'rolling droplet technique,' a DNA-injected water droplet rolls like a ball over a platelet, sticking the DNA to the plate surface February 27th, 2015

Graphene shows potential as novel anti-cancer therapeutic strategy: University of Manchester scientists have used graphene to target and neutralise cancer stem cells while not harming other cells February 26th, 2015

Aerospace/Space

National Space Society and Space Frontier Foundation announce the formation of the Alliance for Space Development February 25th, 2015

Rosetta Team Wins the National Space Society's Science and Engineering Space Pioneer Award February 23rd, 2015

A new spin on spintronics: Michigan team tests radiation-resistant spintronic material, possibly enabling electronic devices that will work in harsh environments February 17th, 2015

Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) Rover and Science Team Wins the National Space Society's von Braun Award February 13th, 2015

Quantum nanoscience

Quantum many-body systems on the way back to equilibrium: Advances in experimental and theoretical physics enable a deeper understanding of the dynamics and properties of quantum many-body systems February 25th, 2015

Quantum research past, present and future for discussion at AAAS February 16th, 2015

Exotic states materialize with supercomputers February 12th, 2015

Graphene displays clear prospects for flexible electronics February 2nd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE