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Leibniz University Hannover establishes hack-proof data connection to Braunschweig

Leibniz University Hannover establishes hack-proof data connection to Braunschweig

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DFG funding for quantum communication project of LUH focusing on providing maximum protection for information transfer between remote locations

Within the framework of the “Major Instrumentation Initiative” of the German Research Foundation (DFG), Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) has acquired 1.5 million euros of funding for establishing a long-distance connection for quantum communication between LUH and Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig (PTB). For this purpose, the InterSync project will establish a tap-proof data connection between the two locations over a distance of more than 50 kilometres. A research team investigates and demonstrates new precise time synchronisation methods customised to be used in quantum networks and quantum cryptography. Exact synchronisation is an important prerequisite for functioning communication, ensuring that sending and receiving quantum states occurs at the right time, therefore avoiding transmission errors.

Quantum cryptography aims to protect communication channels, even if future quantum computers should be able to undermine conventional encryption technology. In Intersync, researchers use photons to transmit information, individual light particles. “This way, the data can be transmitted in a completely safe manner, even if a potential attacker can monitor the communication path," explains Prof. Ilja Gerhardt, one of the project managers from the Institute of Solid State Physics.

At Leibniz University Hannover, four work groups from the Institute of Solid State Physics and the Institute of Theoretical Physics are involved: Prof. Dr. Ilja Gerhardt contributes her expertise in open jet quantum cryptography and “quantum hacking”; thus, possible scenarios for attacks on such a connection. Prof. Dr. Fei Ding investigates bright single-photon sources and generates entangled photons from quantum dots. Prof. Dr. Andreas W. Schell has considerable expertise in the field of single-photon sources and optical fibres. Furthermore, he has developed tap-proof quantum communication protocols. Prof. Dr. Reinhard Werner is one of the pioneers in the field of quantum information theory and currently focuses on theoretical aspects of quantum networks. Within the scope of the project, they cooperate with the work groups of Prof. Dr. Stefan Kück and Dr. Harald Schnatz at the new Quantum Technology Competence Center (QTZ) of PTB.

The success of the project in the “Major Instrumentation Initiative” enriches the existing strong research environment for quantum communication and computing with the Clusters of Excellence QuantumFrontiers and PhoenixD, as well as Quantum Valley Lower Saxony (QVLS). Intersync is scheduled to be completed between 2022 and 2027.


Note to editors

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Ilja Gerhardt, Institute of Solid State Physics at Leibniz University Hannover, Tel. +49 511 762-4828, Email i.gerhardt@physics.uni-hannover.de.