Israel to Build Quantum Communications System

12 June, 2017

The contract was awarded by the Ministry of Defense to the Quantum Information Science Center at the Hebrew University, in cooperation with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Opsys technologies

Prof. Nadav Katz at the Hebrew University’s Quantum Information Science Center

[Phto above: Prof. Nadav Katz with a superconducting detectors at the Quantum Information Science Center]

The Quantum Information Science Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has won a NIS 7.5 million tender from the Government of Israel to lead the construction of a national demonstrator for quantum communications technologies. The goal of this project is to develop homegrown Israeli expertise and technology for a national quantum communications system that will prevent eavesdropping, protect data privacy and secure national infrastructure.

Single Photons Representing Quantum Bits

The contract was awarded by the Ministry of Defense, which is tasked with developing a secure communications infrastructure to improve privacy and secure national infrastructure. Also participating in the project are Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Opsys technologies, and an additional researcher from Tel Aviv University.

As part of this project, researchers will build a communication system at the Hebrew University’s laboratories based on single photons representing quantum bits. Quantum bits make it possible to perform calculations in new ways that are not possible in current communications systems or even supercomputers.

Prof. Nadav Katz, director of the Quantum Information Science Center, said that the project will position Israel in the leading edge of ultimately secured communication systems. “This is the first Israeli national project in the emerging field of quantum information technologies.”

Prof. Hagai Eisenberg and graduate student Daniel Istrati study a single photon experiment at the Hebrew University’s Quantum Information Science Center

Current methods of encrypting data are increasingly vulnerable to attack as the increased power of quantum computing comes online. Quantum communication systems use the laws of physics to secure data and are therefore resistant to attack. Quantum information is expected to bring dramatic improvements in computation speed and secured communication. Based on the inherent wave-like nature of matter and light, it will lead to massive leaps forward in our ability to fabricate, control, measure and understand advanced structures. The Quantum Information Science Center (QISC) was founded in 2013 and recruited an interdisciplinary team of over 20 researchers from physics, computer science, mathematics, chemistry, philosophy and engineering.

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