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Physicists Demonstrate Working Quantum Router, a Step Toward a Quantum Internet

• Colin Lecher viia

As much as we love our silicon semiconductors, quantum computers are very much a technology of the future. Instead of the usual string of 1s and 0s, they'll be able to send both types of information at the same time, dwarfing their traditional counterparts. But one major problem is that they can only move through one optical fibre. To push more information through, they need a router, and Chinese physicists have unveiled the first one.

In a quantum computer, photons ferry information to other sources. It's possible to send the photons directly through one fibre, but routing comes in when another fibre is needed. Like the router you probably own, a control signal reads the data then sends it to its destination. But dealing with unruly quantum particles is a little more complicated; when a signal is read it's also destroyed. So even though the data can be transferred with traditional methods, that doesn't offer the kind of data-transferring power quantum computing offers.

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