This discovery could be the first step towards quantum Internet. It is essentially a step to further develop quantum entanglement over the long distances necessary for such a network.
The quantum network it works like the traditional internet. It allows large amounts of data to communicate over long distances. But communication is through quantum bits or qubits, between quantum processors. This way of communication offers many more possibilities than traditional internet.
To do this, there must be the possibility of transmitting particles that are "entangled". This means that particles can affect each other over long distances. In recent years, researchers have achieved this through cables ή satellites, but there was a limit on distance.
When quantum transmission is used over a very long distance, it often exists problem because there are losses and communications are not reliable.
So far, the longest quantum entanglement was 1,3 kilometers.
In the new research, scientists were able to do this within 50 km. They did so by using a specific quantum effect, which allows data to be transmitted over much longer distances.
Scientists say this could be the beginning of the quantum internet that could allow connection between cities.
In the study, the researchers looked at how they could transmit two quantum memories, which make up the a quantum version of its normal memory computer. While a piece of computer memory stores them information as 1s or 0s, quantum memory allows for much more powerful computing.
To interfere with quantum memories, the researchers used photons or individual light particles along a 50-kilometer cable. The two memories were able to interact with each other, the experiment succeeded and it turned out that quantum entanglement could be done at such a great distance.