China launches quantum-enabled satellite Micius

_90803698_fe27958c-1cdf-4437-aea9-0205bf1e7f4f

FOREIGN201608151643000310767138696

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-37091833

China has successfully launched the world’s first quantum-enabled satellite, state media said.

It was carried on a rocket which blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s north west early on Tuesday.

The satellite is named after the ancient Chinese scientist and philosopher Micius.

The project tests a technology that could one day offer digital communication that is “hack-proof”.

But even if it succeeds, it is a long way off that goal, and there is some mind-bending physics to get past first.

The satellite will create pairs of so-called entangled photons – tiny sub-atomic particles of light whose properties are dependent on each other – beaming one half of each pair down to base stations in China and Austria.

This special kind of laser has several curious properties, one of which is known as “the observer effect” – its quantum state cannot be observed without changing it.

So, if the satellite were to encode an encryption key in that quantum state, any interception would be obvious. It would also change the key, making it useless.

If it works, it will solve the central problem of encrypted communications – how to distribute keys without interception – promising hack-proof communications. The encrypted message itself can be transmitted normally after the key exchange.

———-

“The satellite will create pairs of so-called entangled photons – tiny sub-atomic particles of light whose properties are dependent on each other – beaming one half of each pair down to base stations in China and Austria.”

quantum is in the house..

“If it works, it will solve the central problem of encrypted communications – how to distribute keys without interception – promising hack-proof communications.”

401

~ by seeker401 on August 20, 2016.

3 Responses to “China launches quantum-enabled satellite Micius”

  1. yanks will just shoot it down

  2. If it works, the communication will also be instantaneous.
    Sub-space comms?

    • it doesnt do communications itself. it just makes it so that two parties can get a shared secret key while being assured that no one has observed* the keys while in transit. once the two parties have received the keys, they can communicate securely knowing that no one else has the keys.

      *in quantum-land, observing (i.e. interacting with in any way) a particle, affects a particle. thus when the receiving party receives the message, they can check to see if the particle(s) have been observed, and if so, invalidate the key.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: