How it Works

How Quantum Communication Works?

Secure communication is the most important feature which we need in today’s life. But no matter how secure we make the encryption, hackers still manage to decode the message from a highly encrypted code. Here comes quantum communication.

Quantum communication is still now the most secure method of communication. It is impossible to interfere with a transmitting message using quantum communication! But why? Why is this technology still hard to achieve and why is it that much secure? Let’s see how quantum communication works.

Why Do We Need Secure Communication?

Supposed that two powerful countries are talking about their issues on a phone call. What if any third party could hear the conversation. They can take any action and use it against them, creating chaos. That would be horrible! At every place and every network, communication or say phone call needs a secure connection.

We look into the past and see how people needed secure communication. The ancient humans used the whispering method to talk when they are in public places and do not want to share information.

During World War 2, the invention of the enigma machine for secure communication was the most crucial in communication. Morse Code was also invented to achieve secure communication. In today’s time, we use digital encryption to make our bank transfers, phone calls, chats, and emails secure.

But quantum communication is the future of modern communication methods. This is a way more secure method for communication rather than today’s highly encrypted messages. Let’s see how it works.

What Are Quantum Particles?

We discussed in the previous article on how quantum technology works. Quantum particles are responsible for every quantum technology and they are at the quantum level.

These particles have their property that many times do not follow the laws of classical physics. Quantum particles can be photons, electrons, protons, positrons, neutrons, and every other particle that is in its simplest form.

Properties Shown By Quantum Particles

Some important properties of quantum particles are duality, quantum entanglement, uncertainty & probability.

Here in quantum communication, we use the quantum entanglement property to achieve the connection between two ends.

Current Method Used For Communication

In today’s communication, the messages are first encrypted and then transmitted through the air via Wi-Fi or transmitted across different countries using optical fiber cables.

The problem occurs when someone tries to manipulate or temper data during ongoing transmission. We are also unable to check if the data is tempered or not! That is because interfering with the data from the outer medium does not affect the original data that is currently transmitting.

Hence it becomes difficult to catch those sneaky hackers that tend to steal data. We might not even know if our data has interfered or not!

That’s why quantum communication is required. This will make every data hack-proof and provides even faster communication.

How Do Quantum Particles Become Responsible For Quantum Communication?

Now as per quantum physics, we can achieve more secure communication using quantum particles.

Well, we practically cannot work on every single particle as per our choice but we can create many small energy packets. These packets contain entangled photons that show the quantum property.

What do the entangled photons do? If a disturbance is created to one photon, we can always see the effect of that disturbance on its entangled photon partner. This is where we can form many different pairs of entangled photons which are joined together and reflect each other’s property no matter how far they rest from each other.

We can say that disturbing or altering one photon will affect the other and this can be done to achieve communication between two points. In easy words, we can put one photon at one place and the other photon at another place. Therefore between the two points, we can establish a network link.

The Actual Working of Quantum Communication

First, the creation of packet of energy takes place. This contains entangled photon pairs. In a sender’s place, we can send one of the entangled photons to the other end via some medium (look at the figure).

Hence from the entangled pair, one photon remains stationary while the other travels to the receiver. If someone tries to temper any data, the effect on that traveling photon will be shown by the resting photon and we can know that someone is trying to do the miscellaneous activity with data.

Therefore, if one photon particle shows some miscellaneous activity, then we can know about it using the second photon and we can stop the communication if it seems harmful.

Once the photon reaches the receiver without any interference, we can send more energy packets or say entangled photons to another side. As seen, the speed of the communication is the fastest as photons will be traveling at the speed of light.

Hence this chain of “Qubit” i.e. Transmitters, repeaters, and receivers coming together can establish a strong communication known as quantum communication that could reach anywhere in the world.

As obvious, this technology is way more difficult to achieve than it sounds as this is a very complex process and hard to understand every mechanic. High energy is required to create energy packets and more sensitive sensors to detect proper communication. Therefore proper research is required for achieving a secure connection.

Speed Factor

In today’s communication, the speed of communication is near to the speed of light thanks to optical fibers. But still, it is manipulated. This data interruption causes a lack of secure communication.

Did Scientists Achieve Proper Quantum Communication?

Scientists are still working hard to achieve Quantum Communication technology and some may be successful to some extent.
In India, ISRO currently achieve a small area of the quantum communication network. It is the most successful advancement that scientists achieve in recent times. Although the gap of communication achieved is 300m only but this will be the starting of a new era of communication called quantum communication.