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The internet goes quantum

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Science  04 Jun 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6546, pp. 1026-1029
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6546.1026

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Summary

Billions of dollars have poured into research on quantum computers and sensors, but many experts say the devices will flourish only when they are yoked to each other over long distances in a "quantum internet." By taking advantage of a strange quantum mechanical property called entanglement, once derided by Albert Einstein as a "spooky distant effect," researchers can create intimate, instantaneous connections across long distances. A quantum internet could weld telescopes into arrays with ultrahigh resolution, precisely synchronize clocks, yield hypersecure communication networks for finance and elections, and make it possible to do quantum computing from anywhere. The first strands are already being woven, though a global network will depend on "quantum repeaters," still to be developed, that can keep photons entangled across thousands of kilometers of optical fiber.

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