Six federal government agencies have established a research consortium in Washington D.C. to create a test network for sharing information securely between quantum computers.
The Washington Metropolitan Quantum Network Research Consortium, or DC-QNEt, will undertake research on the use of quantum-entangled particles, known as qubits, to transmit sensitive information.
The six departments involved in the quantum network are: the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Observatory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Security Agency and NASA.
Researchers hope the work will yield other discoveries, and the technology can also be used to distribute ultra-precise time signals.
Quantum entanglement is a unique quantum mechanical property of atomic and subatomic particles, where classical physics fails to describe observed phenomena accurately. Researchers hope that research conducted by the consortium could have a range of other applications.
The Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific and the Air Force Research Laboratory will also participate in the project as out-of-region affiliates.
Commenting on the new consortium, DC-QNet Executive Director Gerald Borsuk said: “These agencies with world-class research capabilities will work to advance quantum network capabilities and leadership. Quantum networks will be essential to modern secure communications and to computing enhancements in the 21st Century.”