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Quantum Internet Workshop Begins Mapping the Future of Quantum Communications

February 11, 2020

Contact: Kathy Kincade, kkincade@lbl.gov+1 510 495 2124

Paul Dabbar Quantum Internet Workshop

Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary of Energy for the DOE's Office of Science, gives the welcoming remarks at the Quantum Internet Blueprint Workshop, held Feb. 5-6 in New York City.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, under the leadership of Under Secretary of Energy Paul Dabbar, sponsored around 70 representatives from multiple government agencies and universities at the first Quantum Internet Blueprint Workshop, held in New York City Feb. 5-6. The primary goal of the workshop was to begin laying the groundwork for a nationwide entangled quantum Internet.

Building on the efforts of the Chicago Quantum Exchange at the University of Chicago, Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories, and LiQuIDNet (Long Island Quantum Distribution Network) at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University, the event was organized by Brookhaven. The technical program committee was co-chaired by Kerstin Kleese Van Dam, director of the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven, and Inder Monga, director of ESnet at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

“The dollars we have put into quantum information science have increased by about fivefold over the last three years,” Dabbar told the New York Times on February 10 after the Trump Administration announced a new budget proposal that includes significant funding for quantum information science, including the quantum Internet.

In parallel with the growing interest and investment in creating viable quantum computing technologies, researchers believe that a quantum Internet could have a profound impact on a number of application areas critical to science, national security, and industry. Application areas include upscaling of quantum computing by helping connect distributed quantum computers, quantum sensing through a network of quantum telescopes, quantum metrology, and secure communications.

Toward this end, the workshop explored the specific research and engineering advances needed to build a quantum Internet in the near term, along with what is needed to move from today's limited local network experiments to a viable, secure quantum Internet.

“This meeting was a great first step in identifying what will be needed to create a quantum Internet,” said Monga, noting that ESnet engineers have been helping Brookhaven and Stony Brook researchers build the fiber infrastructure to test some of the initial devices and techniques that are expected to play a key role in enabling long-distance quantum communications. “The group was very engaged and is looking to define a blueprint. They identified a clear research roadmap with many grand challenges and are cautiously optimistic about the timeframe to accomplish that vision.” 

Berkeley Lab’s Thomas Schenkel was the Lab’s point of contact for the workshop, a co-organizer, and co-chair of the quantum networking control hardware breakout session. ESnet’s Michael Blodgett also attended the workshop.


About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Computing Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials, and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world, and our universe.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.