Aug 22, 2016

Robust photon-pair source survives rocket explosion

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, space

Another discovery from a rocket launch.

A sensitive quantum device, designed to operate on a nanosatellite, was recovered from explosion debris and displays no degradation in quality.

Quantum key distribution (QKD), i.e., using quantum signals to generate secure symmetric key material at distant sites, is of much interest for quantum communications because of its high level of privacy (underpinned by quantum mechanics). In particular, entanglement-based QKD1 is a powerful technique in which quantum correlations between photons are leveraged. In this process, the entangled photons can be distributed with the use of optical fibers or ground-level free-space links. Current QKD networks, however, suffer from a distance limit because of fiber losses2, 3 and the lack of quantum repeaters.4

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