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已有 5771 次阅读 2013-5-10 15:48 |系统分类:海外观察| 合作, 教授

Vienna Quantum Space Test Link: Milestone in Quantum Communication



Austria and China are stepping up cooperation on quantum physics: the optical ground station for experiments in the field of quantum communication opened at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Communication (IQOQI) in Vienna, which will pave the way for quantum physical experiments in outer space. At their joint press conference, Karlheinz Töchterle, the Austrian Minister for Science and Research, Heinz W. Engl, the Rector of the University of Vienna, Helmut Denk, the President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Hejun Yin, the Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, inspected the "Vienna Quantum Space Test Link". The Scientific heads of the project are Anton Zeilinger and Jian Wei Pan.
Scientific milestone in quantum physics and in Austro-Chinese cooperation
The Vienna Quantum Space Test Link plays a key role in the context of the planned quantum physics experiments in outer space. By enabling the development of the necessary innovative technologies and infrastructures, it marks an important step toward technologies of the future.

The prepared distribution of entangled light particles enables the creation of unconditionally secure cryptographic keys. Currently, fiber optics technology is limited to applications over comparably short distances. Intercontinental quantum communication is therefore restricted to optical terminals on satellites and ground stations. Quantum key relay protocols, on the other hand, enable and guarantee the secure distribution of cryptographic keys between two stations on Earth, regardless of the distance between them. In the joint project QUESS (Quantum Experiments on Space Scale), the European partners will prepare the ground station while the Chinese partners will provide the satellite, which will be launched within the next five years. A source for entangled photons will be on board the satellite, enabling the testing of quantum communication to satellites using individual photons. The Vienna group will be responsible for scientific coordination of the ground stations in Europe.

Strategically important partnership

“In the context of Austrian research activities, quantum physics plays a very prominent role and already has a highly successful track record,“ said the Austrian Minister for Science and Research, Karlheinz Töchterle, at the press conference last Friday. The eleven ERC grants and the four Wittgenstein award winners give a clear reflection of Austria’s excellent achievements, and the nine START awards in the field of quantum physics clearly underline the fact that Austria also focuses on promoting talented young scientists. In Austria, quantum physics enjoys a broad institutional basis. Close cooperation between universities and the Academy of Sciences also contributes towards strengthening its position. "The quantum space project enables Austrian scientists from the Vienna IQOQI to further develop their internationally acknowledged role as leading players in their field, while also confirming most impressively their attractiveness as scientific partners for China,” emphasized the Minister.

"The University of Vienna is a leading player in the excellent field of quantum physics. Scientists from the University of Vienna such as Anton Zeilinger, Markus Arndt, Markus Aspelmeyer and Frank Verstraete stand for top scientific achievements that enjoy a worldwide reputation,” underlined the Rector of the University of Vienna, Heinz W. Engl. “The University of Vienna attaches utmost importance to promoting both the international perspective and the international dimension of research and teaching. Cooperation with Chinese partners contributes to strengthening the worldwide network built by the University of Vienna.”  

"The Vienna Quantum Space Test Link, contractually agreed upon in 2011, is an outstanding example of the successful and long-term cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, involving participation by the University of Vienna,“ stressed the President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Helmut Denk.

In his concluding statement, Anton Zeilinger underlined that "new opportunities are being opened up by this combination of expert knowledge enjoyed by the Vienna scientists and their Chinese partners. The development of unconditionally secure, multi-channel communication represents a very special challenge in quantum physics, and this project enables us to make an important step towards meeting that challenge.”

The goal of the project is to test quantum entanglement over a distance of thousands of kilometers and to pave the way for intercontinental quantum data exchange.


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