Report: China and Russia Test Quantum Communication Link

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Insider Brief

  • Scientists from Russia and China have successfully established quantum communication over a distance of 3,800 kilometers.
  • The communication spanned from a ground station near Moscow to another near Urumqi in China’s western Xinjiang region
  • The work suggests a quantum communication network among the BRICS nations would be feasible.
  • Image: Chinese Academy of Science

Scientists from Russia and China have successfully established quantum communication over a distance of 3,800 kilometers, using secure keys transmitted by China’s quantum satellite, according to a Chinese newspaper. This achievement indicates the technical feasibility of a quantum communication network among nations aligned with Russia and China, as reported by The South China Morning Post.

The communication spanned from a ground station near Moscow to another near Urumqi in China’s western Xinjiang region. The teams successfully transmitted two images encoded and secured by quantum keys. According to The South China Morning Post, this feat is a significant step forward in the field of quantum communication, which is known for its high security against eavesdropping.

The collaboration between the two countries in this field has been intensifying. Alexey Fedorov, from Russia’s National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) and the Russian Quantum Centre (RQC), told The South China Morning Post that the first “full cycle” quantum communication test between Russia and China was conducted last year. MISIS and RQC are at the forefront of Russia’s efforts in developing a quantum computer.

This recent achievement was made possible by China’s quantum satellite, Mozi. Launched in 2016, Mozi has been a key player in China’s ambitious quantum technology program. It has opened up new possibilities for developing both national and international quantum communication networks, a field that promises unprecedented levels of security in data transmission.

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The success of this quantum communication test is a clear demonstration of the advanced capabilities that can be achieved through international cooperation in the field of science and technology, according to the newspaper. The South China Morning Post added that the involvement of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in such technological advancements showcases a shift in the global balance of research and development, particularly in cutting-edge technologies like quantum computing and communication.

As the world increasingly relies on digital communication, the development of secure communication methods becomes crucial. Quantum communication, unlike traditional methods, uses the principles of quantum mechanics to encrypt and transmit data, making it virtually impossible to intercept or decode without detection.

This collaboration between Russian and Chinese scientists not only paves the way for a more secure global communication network but also signifies a major step towards the practical implementation of quantum communication technology. As these technologies continue to evolve, they could redefine the landscape of global data security and communication, making the role of international cooperation in scientific research more vital than ever.

While this experiment marks a significant advancement, quantum communication still faces challenges in scalability due to its high complexity and the need for advanced infrastructure. Additionally, maintaining the stability of quantum signals over long distances remains a technical hurdle, limiting the widespread application of this technology.

If you found this article to be informative, you can explore more current quantum news here, exclusives, interviews, and podcasts.

Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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