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A U.S. Army research result brings the quantum internet a step closer. Such an internet could offer the military security, sensing and timekeeping capabilities not possible with traditional networking approaches.

The U.S. Army's Combat Capability Development's Army Research Laboratory's Center for Distributed Quantum Information, funded and managed by the lab's Army Research Office, saw researchers at the University of Innsbruck achieve a record for the transfer of quantum entanglement between matter and light -- a distance of 50 kilometers using fiber optic cables.

Entanglement is a correlation that can be created between quantum entities such as qubits. When two qubits are entangled and a measurement is made on one, it will affect the outcome of a measurement made on the other, even if that second qubit is physically far away.

"This [50 kilometers] is two orders of magnitude further than was previously possible and is a practical distance to start building inter-city quantum networks," said Dr. Ben Lanyon, experimental physicist at University of Innsbruck and the principal investigator for the project, whose findings are published in the Nature journal Quantum Information.

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Category: Science