The document’s goal is to help focus America’s R&D efforts on advancing the development of foundations for the quantum internet. It establishes quantum information system community goals for quantum networking, and recommends six specific technical areas for focused research activity including:

  • Technology and platform development for key components including classical sources, quantum-limited detectors, ultra-low loss interconnects, space-to-ground connections, and classical networking and cybersecurity protocols and scaling costs;
  • Transduction of quantum sources and signals from optical and telecom regimes to quantum computer-relevant domains, including microwaves;
  • Entanglement and hyper-entangled state generation, and transmission, control, and measurement of quantum states;
  • Development of quantum memories and small-scale quantum computers that are compatible with photon-based quantum bits in the optical or telecom wavelengths;
  • Exploration of novel algorithms and applications for long-range entanglement between small scale and large-scale quantum processors, including quantum error correction, quantum cloud computing protocols, and new quantum sensing modalities; and
  • Exploration of techniques for both terrestrial and space-based entanglement distribution.

The activities are intended to support a five year goal to demonstrate the foundational science and key technologies to enable quantum networks and to identify both the applications and the impact that would benefit from the use of these technologies. Afterwards, the intent over the next 20 years will be to leverage the networked quantum devices to enable new capabilities not possible with classical technology.

As pointed out in the document, the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Project Agency helped create the ARPANET in 1969 which led to the internet that we have today. Their hope is that a similar early new technology investment by the government will bring a great future benefits, many of which are not yet known, in much the same way that the ARPANET and follow-on networks have blossomed into today’s digital infrastructure and the associated economic and quality of life benefits that we enjoy today. Click here to view the full document.

February 12, 2020