New invention promises quantum internet that can’t be hacked

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  • Scientists devise the largest-ever quantum communications network.
  • The technology is much cheaper than previous attempts and promises to be hacker-proof.
  • The ‘multiplexing’ system devised by the researchers splits light particles that carry information.

Scientists are closer to creating a hacker-proof quantum internet thanks to a promising new invention. A team led by the University of Bristol in the U.K. found a method of securing online communication that relies on the laws of physics.

The approach aims to make any message sent over the internet interception-proof. 

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Artificial Intelligence Is Now Smart Enough to Know When It Can’t Be Trusted

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(akinbostanci/Getty Images)TECHDAVID NIELD 25 NOVEMBER 2020

How might The Terminator have played out if Skynet had decided it probably wasn’t responsible enough to hold the keys to the entire US nuclear arsenal? As it turns out, scientists may just have saved us from such a future AI-led apocalypse, by creating neural networks that know when they’re untrustworthy.

These deep learning neural networks are designed to mimic the human brain by weighing up a multitude of factors in balance with each other, spotting patterns in masses of data that humans don’t have the capacity to analyse.

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Supercomputer Aurora 21 will map the human brain, starting in 2021

Between your ears lies a miracle of nature, with more connections than our galaxy has stars. In the past, the idea of mapping the connectome—or the interconnected neuronal pathways of the brain (the white matter), was thought impossible. Now, a group of scientists are planning to do just that. How? They plan on using an oncoming supercomputer with tremendous power. Should they be successful, it could stand as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science. And that’s just one of the project’s scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are planning, with Aurora 21 (A21).

Intel, IBM, and other tech giants are currently working together to create this mind-blowing supercomputer that’ll run a quintillion operations simultaneously. This will be the first exascale supercomputer in the US. It’s set to go live in 2021. Originally, the US Department of Energy (DOE) reported a 2023 unveiling. But when China announced it was to have its own (exascale supercomputer) by 2020, the DOE stepped up its schedule. Those involved with the project say it’s humming along and should be completed on time.

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In quantum entanglement first, scientists link distant large objects

Light goes through the atomic cloud in the center and falls onto the membrane on the left. Because of the interaction with light the precession of atomic spins and vibration of the membrane become quantum correlated. Credit: Niels Bohr Institute

Researchers accomplished quantum entanglement between a mechanical oscillator and a cloud of atoms.The feat promises application in quantum communication and quantum sensors.Quantum entanglement involves linking two objects, making them behave as one at a distance.

Scientists entangled two large quantum objects, both at different locations from each other, in a quantum mechanics first. The feat is a step towards practical application of a rather counterintuitive phenomenon and was accomplished by a team from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

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How do birds navigate? Quantum entanglement suggests

  • Birds’ navigation using Earth’s very faint magnetic fields suggests an incredible level of sensitivity.
  • There’s reason to think that sensitivity may be based on quantum entanglement in cryptochrome in their eyes.
  • Identifying the role of quantum physics in biology could lead, well, who knows where?

Okay, this is far from confirmed, but it’s pretty radical, and exciting. It’s a possible and plausible answer to a question that’s puzzled biologists ever since the manner in which birds navigate became apparent. The question is: How can birds possibly be able to perceive and follow something as faint as the Earth’s magnetic field? The possible answer? It may be that they perceive it through the interaction of entangled quantum particles in their eyes.

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