Russian scientists have created a long-distance quantum communication device that cannot be hacked in theory, paving the way for the development of quantum communication systems that ensure security of information exchange.

The device, which is still in its experimental stages, has the ability to transfer a single-photon quantum signal across a distance of 250 kilometers (155 miles) or more. The best part is it will be permanently changed the moment hackers try to disrupt the transmission.

The Problem With Data Security

Data security has increasingly become a major problem not just in large companies, banks and other industries, but also in small firms and individuals.

For example, Verizon Enterprise recently suffered a major security breach in which hackers were able to steal data of 1.5 million Verizon customers.

Such problems exist because present algorithms used in data encryption are almost always vulnerable to cracks, regardless of how complicated the algorithms are.

Information security using the basic laws of quantum physics is different as the original user can immediately know when there is any kind of disruptive intervention.

Making The Most Out Of Quantum

Now, a novel way to exceptionally produce and transfer quantum bits has been created by experts from ITMO University and Heriot-Watt University.

"To transmit quantum signals, we use the so-called side frequencies," says study author Artur Gleim from ITMO. Such approach enables simplification of the device's design and provides a large room for the quantum channel.

For study co-author Robert Collins, the discovery may pave the way for the smooth coexistence of various information with varied wavelengths in a single optical cable. Aside from that, it can also be incorporated into current fiber optics together with traditional communications.

How Does It Work?

Quantum bits may be incorporated in the system by directing laser radiation into a modulator, which houses the data transmission process.

The wave emitted by the laser is separated into numerous individual waves. After transmission into the cable, the same separation will occur at the receiver's end.

Depending on the pace directed by both the sender and receiver, the waves will either boost or cut each other. Such action is translated into binary digit combinations, which will serve to collate a quantum key.

Although the waves undergo different changes during the transmission process, these alterations are always identical, and with the extra run, these get smoothened over until the receiver's end is reached. Therefore, both the sender and receiver get the same combination.

At present, the team is looking to develop a full quantum cryptographic system that will give out quantum keys and transfer helpful data at the same time.

The study was published in the journal Optics Express.

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