Feeds

Pentagon in QuEST for quantum-teleport spooky IT

Well, some crypto-cracking hardware anyway

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

US military boffinry bureau DARPA*, which sees the bleeding edge as a blunt instrument, is getting into quantum effects. The Pentagon mad-science profs have offered government funding for researchers who can help them obtain Quantum Entanglement Science and Technology (QuEST).

Initially, the DARPA chaps are fairly non-specific about what they actually want at the end of the quest for QuEST. They merely say the aim is to "investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in the fundamental understanding of quantum information science".

Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which properties of two different atoms can be linked together despite the atoms being separated. In theory it doesn't matter how widely separated: one atom could be on Earth, and the other at Jupiter, or even light years away. The properties of the two will still be related instantaneously.

This can give rise to so-called "quantum teleportation", or - as Einstein put it - "spooky action at a distance", in which effects and correlations can occur at once between entangled atoms.

These rather promising phrases would seem to suggest that DARPA is after some kind of matter transmitter teleportation device - or at the very least a theory-shattering instantaneous communications link. In fact, entanglement theory calls for a normal, sub-light speed communication as well as the miracle quantum one; so this seems unlikely.

That said, one should never underestimate the wackiness of thought processes at DARPA. The body that funded the man cannon is quite capable of embarking on at least a small search for StarGate type instellar portal technology, no matter that the theory doesn't seem to offer any potential for it.

In fact, however, the likelihood is more that DARPA is thinking of so-called "quantum computing", which is reckoned by some boffins to offer ways of cracking hitherto unbreakable crypto. The Pentagon scientists emphasise that they're mainly interested in IT systems which might be good to go in the foreseeable future:

Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in the fundamental understanding of quantum information science related to "small" quantum systems. In this context, "small" refers to quantum systems with minimal quantum resources (e.g. number of coherent qubits, entanglement, quantum memory, etc). Results of such research are expected to lead to revolutionary advances in quantum information science and technology.

That sounds more like a crypto-smasher quanto-puter to us, rather than an interstellar portal or instantaneous subether radio. Disappointingly enough.

Read the full announcement here (pdf).®

*Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.