Quantum computers are the promise of the future. Harnessing the strange phenomena of quantum mechanics like ‘entanglement’ and ‘superposition’ could result in computers millions of times faster than our contemporary supercomputers and far more secure encryption. When these computers are connected in a network of networks we can create a superfast, highly secure internet: the quantum internet.
Last April two coupled single-atom nodes communicated with each other at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany. However, a global network is made up of more than two single-atom nodes, and you need routers too. Unfortunately, routing the signal has proven impossible because the signal is destroyed in the process. But now Chinese physicists have reported a proof-of-principle of a working quantum router.