China takes major step in creating a global network for quantum communication
Aug 15, 2016 | 17:00 / Interesting information
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In the early hours of Tuesday morning, from a launch pad in the Gobi Desert, China carried out what could prove to be a defining moment in the country’s global ascendancy.

At 1:40am local time, China successfully launched its first quantum satellite — a mission that will be watched very closely by security agencies around the world.

Not only does the launch put the nation of 1.35 billion at the forefront of a unique scientific field but, more importantly, it puts Beijing far ahead of its global rivals in achieving the holy grail of cyber security: a digital communication system impervious to hackers.

By launching a group of quantum-enabled satellites, China hopes to create a super secure network that uses an encryption technique based on the principles of a field known as quantum communication.

While traditional forms of encryption rely on mathematical functions that are very difficult to be reversed, scientists have demonstrated a far better way to transmit secret data.

“In physics we are trying, and we have demonstrated some encryption techniques that rely on the law of physics rather than the mathematical complexity and we call this quantum key distribution,” Professor Ping Koy Lam from the ANU’s Department of Quantum Science told prior to the launch…

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