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商业 - 科技

量子因特网已经秘密试运行多年

Matt Vella 2013年05月10日

美国洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室的一群科学家们承认,他们使用所谓的量子因特网已有两年。这种尚处于试验阶段的新型因特网采用量子力学规律,可以确保信息交流的安全性。但目前尚不清楚这个新技术还需要多长时间才能普及。

    美国洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室(Los Alamos National Labs)的科学家称,他们这两年来一直在默默运营一种量子因特网。

    何为量子因特网?这是一种采用量子力学规律以确保在线交流绝对安全的网络。因为测定一个量子物体这一行为必然会改变该物体,所以任何窥探量子消息的尝试都会留下篡改的迹象,潜在的接收者就会因此而察觉。量子互联网有望使用户在一个绝对安全的网络上发送消息。(相比之下,SnapChat等互联网短信简直如同儿戏。)

    这个理念令安全专家深深着迷,但其中也存在棘手的技术难题。例如,信息只能在点对点之间发送,而不能作为有规律的因特网数据被路由。决定某次通讯的目的地会改变它的状态,实际上相当于对它重新标记。

    如今,来自位于美国新墨西哥州的洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室的一个小组透露,已经成功绕开了其中一些限制。《麻省理工学院技术评论》称:

    理查德•休斯及其在新墨西哥州洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室(Los Alamos National Labs)的同事展示了一种替代性的量子因特网,并声称他们运行这个网络已经长达两年半的时间。他们的做法是创建一个基于中心辐射型网络的量子网络。从该网络中任何一点路由至另一点的所有消息都通过该中央枢纽中转。这种方法以前不是没尝试过。它的理念是,发送至中央枢纽的消息依靠正常水平的量子安全措施。然而,到达中央枢纽后,它们就被转换成传统的二进制数字,然后再恢复成量子信息,以开始其下一半旅程。

    这一创新何时能得到广泛应用目前尚不可知。恐怕短期内希望不大。如需了解更多信息,请点击阅读这篇披露该公告的博客文章。 (财富中文网)

    译者:项航

    Scientists at Los Alamos National Labs say they have been quietly operating a quantum internet for the past two years.

    What is a quantum internet? It is a network that employs the laws of quantum mechanics to make perfectly secure online communication possible. Because the act of measuring a quantum object necessarily changes it, any attempt to snoop on a quantum message leaves indications of tampering a would-be receiver can detect. A quantum internet would potentially allow users to send messages over a network which could then be used for absolutely secure communication. (Making SnapChat look like child's play by comparison.)

    The concept has fascinated security experts, but there are thorny technical problems. For example, messages can only be sent between locations, not routed as regular Internet traffic. Deciding where a communication is headed changes its state, effectively marking it.

    Now, a team from Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico has revealed that it has managed to work around some of these limitations. As the MIT Technology Review puts it:

    Richard Hughes and pals at Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico reveal an alternative quantum internet, which they say they've been running for two and a half years. Their approach is to create a quantum network based around a hub and spoke-type network. All messages get routed from any point in the network to another via this central hub. This is not the first time this kind of approach has been tried. The idea is that messages to the hub rely on the usual level of quantum security. However, once at the hub, they are converted to conventional classical bits and then reconverted into quantum bits to be sent on the second leg of their journey.

    When this innovation will be in wide use is anybody's guess. It likely won't be anytime soon. For more, check out this blog post revealing the announcement.

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