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The achievement of the team around the Innsbruck-based START award winner Ben Lanyon is a milestone on the road to the Quantum Internet of the future, which promises to provide absolutely bug-proof communication and powerful, distributed sensor networks for research and technology. The researchers have broken the record for transmission of quantum entanglements of matter and light: for the first time, it has been possible to cover over 50 kilometers by glass fiber cable. Measurements showed that the atom and particle of light were still entangled even after the change of wavelength and the long journey. “That’s twice as far as has been possible until now and is a practicable distance for the construction of regional quantum networks,” says an excited Ben Lanyon.

The next goal for Lanyon’s team, which is a member of the international Quantum Internet Alliance , part of the EU’s Quantum Flagship , is to entangle ions over a distance of 100 kilometers or more. If that is possible, the construction of the first intercity light-matter quantum network in the world would be possible. Only a handful of ion trap systems would be required to construct a Quantum Internet between Innsbruck and Vienna, for example.