A new form of artificial diamond one day could be the foundation for a highly secure, quantum ultra-broadband, according to a recent Science magazine article.
The designer crystal can both store quantum information for a long time and clearly transmit data, something artificial diamonds could not do previously: They could do only one or the other, the July 6 article said. These diamonds could, therefore, eventually become a foundation of a "quantum Internet" that would empower users to send secured messages via connected quantum computers around the globe.
Due to a flaw in synthetic diamonds, they can act as quantum storage: In the "defect," a non-carbon atom and an empty space replace two neighboring carbon atoms and demonstrate spin, a quantum property that can be in an up, down or up and down state. The Science article details the processes involved.
"Each of those states reflects a bit of quantum data, or qubit, that may be 1, 0 or both at once. A diamond transmits qubits by encoding them in light particles, or photons, that travel through fiber-optic cables," the magazine article reports.
These qubit-carrying photons cannot travel far, today, however: Only about 100km through optical fiber, making them poor options for worldwide communications. But, just like traditional telecommunications and cable technologies that advance by meters or miles, this may well be the first step in using these artificial diamonds for a specialized Internet that melds fiber optic cables and quantum computing.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.