Chinese scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of quantum communication. They have successfully implemented a new method of quantum key distribution (QKD) that could revolutionize intercity quantum networks.
Quantum networks are known for their unbeatable security. Data transmitted through these networks is encrypted and the decryption key is transferred using quantum mechanics, making it virtually hacker-proof. However, current QKD methods have limitations in distance and can be challenging to implement.
Enter the new method, called mode-pairing QKD (MP-QKD), first proposed by Dr. Ma Xiongmeng and his team at Tsinghua University in 2022. This new approach eliminates the need for a technically difficult step known as “phase locking”. In collaboration with another team led by the renowned quantum communication expert, Professor Pan Jianwei, the performance of MP-QKD was truly outstanding.
The details of the test were recently published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters. The researchers stated that MP-QKD offers a “quadratic improvement” in key-rate, meaning a significant increase in speed for QKD, especially in metropolitan and intercity networks. In addition, the new method boasts a speed boost of three orders of magnitude for distances of up to 400 kilometers.
Not only does MP-QKD deliver outstanding results, but it can also be achieved using readily available “off-the-shelf lasers.” This makes it a “ready-to-implement” technology that is expected to be widely adopted in future intercity quantum networks.
This quantum breakthrough by Chinese scientists is a major step forward in the world of secure communication.