You could be forgiven for thinking that a quantum version of the internet is a couple of-afternoons-in-the-lab away from being plumbed into your living room. In reality, there are significant engineering challenges to overcome, says Jeff Kimble from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and one of the leading thinkers on the links between the quantum and information sciences.
If you want to know about some of the bigger hurdles that physicists face in wanting to build a quantum internet, you could do worse than look at his account of this field on the arXiv today.
Some of the challenges are particularly daunting such as the unambiguous creation and verification of entanglement.
But, ever the optimist, he concludes:
“I have every confidence that extending entanglement across quantum networks will create wonderful scientific opportunities for the exploration of physical systems that have not heretofore existed in the natural world”.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0806.4195: The Quantum Internet