Just as today's internet requires routers, a quantum internet would also need routers that could receive, store, and transmit quantum information. The key to creating this is in entanglement, and University of Vienna researchers say they have a device that can do it.
Storing Quantum Information
In the science of quantum communication, the challenge has always been prolonging the entangled state that the particles are in. As quantum information is carried by these entangled particles, the length of time the entanglement is sustained affects the distance that the information can travel.
Quantum communication systems do this using direct optical-fiber connections, which are rather limited because the way that fibers absorb light can disrupt the entanglement needed to carry quantum information.
Building a quantum internet, which is essentially a network of quantum entangled routers linked by fiber that can store quantum information, requires a function of routers that can store and send entangled particles. A team of researchers from the University of Vienna in Austria, led by Ralf Riedinger, supposedly built such a router.
This device is a nanomachine capable of receiving and storing quantum information sent through ordinary fiber optic cables. It contains a pair of nanofabricated silicon resonators that use electron-beam lithography and plasma reactive-ion etching, which are tiny silicon beams that vibrate like a guitar string.