Updated: May 6, 2018
In the summer of 2017 , China did something remarkable !!
Beijing and Vienna had a video phone call that was completely unhackable .
We are talking about 100% data safety over the internet.
Welcome to the next generation of the internet – The Quantum Internet
This video call was enabled by the Micius Satellite . This is no ordinary telecommunications satellite .
It’s built on what Eisenstein termed as “spooky action at a distance” now called quantum entanglement and also a principle called superposition .
Quantum entanglement works on some kind of “telepathy” between subatomic particles.
The thing with these entangled photons, is that their properties are linked in strange ways. For example if one photon starts spinning to the left , it’s entangled counterpart will start spinning exactly in the same manner at the same time even if these two are light years away from each other.
And what’s Superposition?
Currently all information that passes through the internet is a bit which is either a zero or a one , but quantum computers run on qubits which can choose to be one’s or zero’s or sometimes both . The moment one qubit changes, it’s entangled counterpart will immediately change in exactly the same manner. Hence communication does not take place by a predictable strings of one’s and zero’s but by teleporting qubits which trigger unforeseen changes in the system.
According to The Economist -“Devices composed of these so-called qubits will be able to crunch through some kinds of calculations that would take current computers millennia. From Google to Alibaba, firms are throwing vast sums at building them.This quantum gold-rush will entice growing numbers of speculators. But according to Paolo Bianco of Airbus, a big aerospace firm, 2018 will be the last year to start investing into quantum technologies. "Arrive any later," he says, "and any early-player advantage would evaporate”.
So Communication on and via the internet is set to change in drastic ways . It's going to get powerful in more ways than one. Distant clocks will get synchronized within 10 raised to the power of -20 seconds which is thousands of times better than the best atomic clocks. GPS systems will get even better, tiniest of changes in the earth’s gravitational waves would get detected.
Currently, China is leading research on the quantum internet . They already have quantum communication taking place over a 2,000 Km fibre optic network between Beijing and Shanghai and with the Micius Satellite , their research is only going to advance.
In fact protection of data has become so crucial in the information age that the US is contemplating setting up the Space Corps which will work exclusively to protect American Satellites and prepare perhaps for a new theatre for war , power , influence and resource.
Remember these famous lines from the Series Star Trek ?