Quantum Computing

Researchers at Oxford University Physics are claiming a quantum computing breakthrough that could enable individual users to use cloud-based quantum computing over a fiber optic connection. 

Quantum computing is potentially far more powerful than that provided by supercomputers and, of course, those used by the general public. Companies such as Google, Amazon and IBM already use some elements of quantum computing.

The challenge is that quantum interactions are intensely sensitive and even the slightest disturbance can cause the quantum state to collapse. Privacy and security techniques must be developed for this fragile landscape before applications can be developed.

The research by Oxford Physics, which was published in the journal “Physics Review Letters,” is aimed at the security issue. The results could lead to devices that plug into laptops to protect data when quantum cloud computer services are being used.

The research, called “blind quantum computing,” connects what the university’s press release referred to as “two totally separate quantum computing entities,” which could be someone in a remote location accessing a cloud server.

Researchers created a fiber network linking a quantum computing server and an independent computer remotely accessing cloud services. Connected to the computer was a device that detects photons. Each computation “incurs a correction which must be applied to all that follow and needs real-time information to comply with the algorithm,” the press release noted.

The researchers used a unique combination of quantum memory and photons to achieve this.

“We have shown for the first time that quantum computing in the cloud can be accessed in a scalable, practical way, which will also give people complete security and privacy of data, plus the ability to verify its authenticity,” Professor David Lucas, who co-heads the Oxford University Physics research team and is lead scientist at the UK Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub, said in a prepared statement.

Quantum networks to support quantum computing could be a significant opportunity for telecom providers.

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