186Kloud – Your Fastest Route to the Cloud (For now!)

“There is nothing faster than the speed of light” they said, 186,000 (186k) miles per second. But the thing about science and what was fact yesterday may no longer be true.

The Internet of the future (but we don’t know when i.e. will this be our future or our grandchildren’s future) will it seems, be able to operate faster and more securely than the speed of light.

Today, the Internet primarily uses networks built using fibre that transmits light waves which contain the data comprising voice video, images and text. Each stream unable to travel faster than the lightwaves within the fibre.

But that could be set to change.

On 4th December 2020 researchers from Caltech, NASA, and Fermilab (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) published the results of their work Teleportation Systems Toward a Quantum Internet

Their research reporting that…

Scientists from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory demonstrated long-distance ‘quantum teleportation’  where they instantly transferred units of quantum information known as qubits – for the first time ever.

The qubits (transferred faster than the speed of light) over a distance of 27 miles, have layed the foundations for a quantum internet service, which theoretically could one day revolutionise computing.

In a quantum internet, information stored in qubits (the quantum equivalent of computer bits) is shuttled, or ‘teleported’, over long distances through entanglement.

Entanglement is a phenomenon whereby two particles are linked in such a way that information shared with one is shared with the other at exactly the same time – Store that bit in memory and I will come back to this point at the end of this article.

The effect of this meaning that the quantum state of each particle is dependent on the state of the other – even when they are separated by a large distance.

Quantum teleportation, therefore, is the transfer of quantum states from one location to the other.

In the experiment, the ‘teleportation’ was instant, occurring faster than the speed of light, and the researchers reported a fidelity of more than 90 percent, according to the new study, published in PRX Quantum.

Although the technology is yet to reach the point of being rolled out beyond sophisticated tests such as this, there are already plans for how policy makers will employ the technology.

For example, the US Department of Energy hopes to erect a quantum network between its laboratories across the states.

The power of a quantum computer running on quantum internet will likely exceed the speeds of the world’s current most sophisticated supercomputers by around 100 trillion times.

‘People on social media are asking if they should sign up for a quantum internet provider (jokingly of course),’ Professor Spiropulu told Motherboard.

‘We need (a lot) more R&D work.’ Professor Spiropulu  was quoted as saying.

So this author has one further thought and a question for folk far more enlightened than me…

If as the experiment reports, through this process of Entanglement where two particles are linked in such a way that information shared with one is shared with the other at exactly the same time with the state of each particle being dependent on the state of the other, even over a large distance. If one changes the other i.e. though the transmission of instant information. If I go to the second particle and change it back, have I just achieved time travel too?

At least it will make the ‘hit and miss’ Microsoft email feature of message recall redundant – instead simply ‘delete’  and the email never existed.


Stephen Hackett, January 2021

The thoughts and opinion of the author are not his own, They are the fabric of the advice, experience and industry observations that we like to share with anyone who has an interest.