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What is Quantum communication? ISRO conducts experiment to communicate securely

What is Quantum communication? ISRO conducts experiment to communicate securely


  • GS 3 || Science & Technology || Fourth Industrial Revolution || Internet of Things

Why in the news?

ISRO conducts experiment to communicate securely

Quantum Technology:-

Quantum technology is a class of technology that works by using the principles of quantum mechanics (the physics of subatomic particles), including quantum entanglement and quantum superposition. Such a definition might make heads spin, but the truth is, we don’t need to know exactly what quantum technology is to make use of it.

Quantum Communication:

  • Quantum communication is a branch of applied quantum physics that is linked to quantum teleportation and quantum information processing.
  • Its most intriguing use is the use of quantum cryptography to safeguard information pathways against eavesdropping.
  • Quantum key distribution (QKD) is the most well-known and developed use of quantum cryptography.

Quantum Key distribution:

  • The Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology is the technology behind Quantum Communication technology ensuring unconditional data security by using its principles of quantum mechanics, which may be impossible using conventional encryption systems.
  • These conventional crypto-systems that are used for data-encryption rely on the complexity of mathematical algorithms. The laws of Physics ensure the security offered by quantum communication. Thus, quantum cryptography is being seen as the ‘future-proof’. The reason for such consideration can be no expectations from any future advancements in the computational power breaking the quantum-cryptosystem.

Understanding Quantum technology:

  • Quantum physics, from theory to ongoing revolution. In the early 1900s observations were made that were not consistent with traditional, classical
    • For example, researchers concluded that hot, black bodies emitted electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths that were not expected, and that atoms could only emit and absorb light of specific frequencies.
  • In 1900 the physicist Max Planck suggested that light was emitted in small, discrete “packaged” that it was quantized – in order to explain these discrepancies. This marked the start of quantum physics, which describes the world at the atomic level. The brightest physicists of the time, including   Niels Bohr and    Albert Einstein,   led further development.
  • They soon realized that they were on the track of a paradigm change, rather than just a paradigm shift in classical Physics Adjustment. In the 1930s, quantum theory was basically complete, and if many of its ramifications were only realized much later.
  • Quantum physics has had a significant social influence. By exploiting the traits Quantum physics pioneers in light and materials invented both the laser.
  • From a transistor these innovations are the basis of information technology as a whole: computers, the web and much more besides, which form today’s society to a large extent. This was the First quantum revolution.

The four areas of quantum technology:

  • Computing with Quantum: The smallest data carrier is the bit in today’s computers, which can only have a value of 0 or 1. But the quantum counterpart, known as a quantum bit or a qubit, can both have a value of 0 and 1 as a consequence of superposition at the same time.
  • At the same time, two qubits may have four values. 00, 01, 10 and 11 at the same time and each additional qubit doubles the number of potential qubits States
  • Simulation of Quantum: A quantum simulator is a specially constructed quantum computer developed to simulate a quantum computer. A certain method therefore, it can only solve a small number of issues. If you want to have to solve other problems, you need to construct a new quantum simulator built to solve these problems unique concerns.
  • Connection with Quantum: Our web-based society with internet banks, digital medical records, and web-based records trade, etc., is dependent on the safe transmission of knowledge. Using encryption now, Centered on problems that are considered to be difficult to quantify, such as finding the prime number variables that have produced a very large number of unique variables.
  • Sensing Quantum: Human understanding of the environment and our technological advancements are constrained by what we can do. Measure and how we can do so precisely. Researchers are currently in the process of learning to measure measurements of forces; individual particles such as photons and electrons are used as sensors, gravity, electricity, etc.

The principles behind quantum technology:

  • Overviews of two quantum principles that are driving the biggest developments in quantum technology.
  • What is quantum entanglement?
    • Quantum entanglement is when two atoms are connected, or entangled, despite being separated. If you change the properties of one of them, the other changes instantly. In theory, this would be the case even if the entire universe separates the entangled atoms. If that wasn’t spectacular enough, quantum mechanics says simply observing an atom changes its properties.
  • What is quantum superposition?
    • Quantum superposition is the theory that subatomic particles exist in multiple states simultaneously. It’s the crux of the Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment – a cat, a flask of poison and a radioactive source are in a sealed box. If a Geiger counter detects radioactivity, it shatters the flask, releasing the poison and killing the cat

How quantum technology is helpful?

  • Quantum technology promises improvements to a vast range of everyday gadgets, including:
    • more reliable navigation and timing systems (check out our work to create the world’s smallest quantum navigation device)
    • more secure communication
    • more powerful computing
  • More accurate healthcare imagine: Using the unusual properties of quantum mechanics, the scientists at the conference (and others from around the world) are building medical tools, diagnostics, and treatments that are both ultra-precise and ultra-personalized–tools that will ultimately prolong and improve our lives.
  • It offers unconditional data security using quantum physics principles, which is impossible with traditional encryption techniques.
  • Quantum cryptography, which is based on quantum physics laws, will be easier to use than traditional data-encryption cryptosystems, which rely on the intricacy of mathematical methods.
  • It is regarded as ‘future-proof,’ as quantum-cryptosystems are unbreakable by future advances in processing power.
  • The technology could be useful in a variety of fields, including digital money transactions, defence, and so on.
  • MeitY has formed a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to establish a Quantum Computing Applications Lab in China. The facility will be the first in the world to support a national government’s mission with quantum computing applications.

Challenge associated with quantum technology:

  • To produce quantum phenomena, scientists need to carefully control the environment (i.e. temperature) and manipulate material with extreme precision at tiny scales.
  • The tools to do this – like refrigeration systems and nanotechnology instruments – amount to a huge expense, which presents a significant barrier to entry for quantum technology companies without access to a university or research lab.
  • A lot of quantum technologies function at temperatures close to absolute zero, and there is very reliable technology now to get down to these temperatures, called a dilution fridge
  • The challenge is greater when it comes to specialised quantum equipment, like photonics tools for creating and measuring low-intensity light.
  • The challenge is to reliably manage and mitigate these risks preemptively, even risks from yet-to-be deployed technologies or yet-to-be-developed technologies.
  • The destructive influence it can have on cryptographic encryption, which secures communications and computers, is the dark side of quantum computing.
  • It may also pose a threat to the government because if this technology gets into the wrong hands, all official and sensitive government information will be at risk of being compromised and misused.

Government initiative for quantum technology:

  • Research in this field is about two decades old globally, but significant experimental work has been ongoing in India for just about five years.
  • In 2018, under QUEST-Quantum Allowed Science and Technology, the government launched serious discussions on quantum technologies and kicked off research projects across 51 organisations. However, until NMQTA, no substantial progress will be made in this area.
  • In 2018, the Science & Technology Department launched a programme called Quantum-Enabled Science & Technology (QuEST) and committed to spending 80 crore to accelerate research over the next three years.
  • The obvious proposal is for a quantum computer to be installed in India within the next decade.

Way forward:

  • There are now calls to control them, even after the birth of social media and artificial intelligence. Before it becomes widely available, it will be wise to create a regulatory structure for quantum computing.
  • Before the topic gets out of control, like nuclear weapons, it would be best to regulate it or establish the boundaries of its legal use, nationally and globally.

Mains oriented question:

Quantum technology must be harnessed by India for strategic and economic success. Discuss. (250 words)