Purdue Researchers Find a Faster Way to Send Information by Photon

New technique could lead to a quantum Internet

Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a new way to send secure information by photon that results in a 100-fold increase in the data transmission rate compared with existing methods. The new technique could increase the so-called “secret bit rate” to more than 35 million photons per second.

Purdue postdoc Simeon Bogdanov says quantum communication could lead to unbreakable security. “No matter how computationally advanced a hacker is, it would be basically impossible by the laws of physics to interfere with these quantum communication channels without being detected, since at the quantum level, light and matter are so sensitive to disturbances.”

According to the press release, “A source might generate a lot of photons per second, but only a few of them may actually be used to transmit information, which strongly limits the speed of quantum communication. For faster quantum communication, Purdue researchers modified the way in which a light pulse from a laser beam excites electrons in a man-made ‘defect’, or local disturbance in a crystal lattice, and then how this defect emits one photon at a time.”

The technique could eventually pave the way to a quantum Internet that will “… transmit single protons between devices, chips, places, or parties capable of processing quantum information.”