- verify secure quantum protocols over existing fiber networks
- send entangled information across campuses or cities
- expand the networks between cities
- and finally, expand between states, using quantum "repeaters" to amplify signals
David Awschalom, Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, and director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange says, "The foundation of quantum networks rests on our ability to precisely synthesize and manipulate matter at the atomic scale, including the control of single photons. Our National Laboratories house world-class facilities to image materials with subatomic resolution and state-of-the-art supercomputers to model their behavior. These powerful resources are critical to accelerating progress in quantum information science and engineering, and to leading this rapidly evolving field in collaboration with academic and corporate partners."
Panagiotis Spentzouris, head of quantum programs at Fermilab adds, "In addition to our collaboration with the University of Chicago, Fermilab is working with Argonne, Caltech, Northwestern University and tech startups to develop the architecture and gradually deploy and connect quantum communication nodes across the city of Chicago. Before long, with this second group of collaborators, we'll be teleporting data across a metropolitan network. This blueprint is important for telling us how we build this out nationwide."
Other National Laboratories are also driving advances in quantum networking and related technologies, says the agency. For example, Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, working with the DOE’s Energy Sciences Network headquartered at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have established an 80-mile quantum network testbed and are actively expanding it in New York State and at Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Other research groups are focused on developing a quantum cryptography system with highly secured information.