Jian-Wei Pan turning China into a quantum superpower
CHINA is advancing rapidly and forging ahead in diverse fields of technology including space science. For the first time in human
China held the world’s first quantum intercontinental video conference between laboratories in Beijing and Vienna. It could usher in the start of a new era of
According to the MIT Technology Review, Jian-Wei Pan, China’s “father of quantum,” is masterminding its drive for global leadership in technologies that could change entire industries. He foresees a day when data centers on different continents will be connected via the quantum satellites he is planning.
Prof. Jian-Wei Pan, born in March 1970, is a full professor of physics at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He obtained his Ph.D. degree in1999 from the University of Vienna. In 2011, he was elected as the Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In 2011, he was appointed as the chief scientist of the quantum science experiments satellite. In 2012, he was elected as TWAS Fellow. In 2014, he was appointed as the director of the CAS Center for Excellence in Quantum Information and Quantum Physics.
The USTC is sometimes known as “China’s Caltech”. Prof. Jian-Wei Pan has produced a series of breakthroughs that have propelled him to scientific stardom in the country. His work has won plaudits from President Xi Jinping, and he’s often referred to in local media as “the father of quantum.”
In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Prof. Jian-Wei Pan talked about the importance of international collaboration, but he also made clear that China sees a unique window for it to shape the next meta-shift in the technology landscape. “We were only the follower and the learner at the birth of modern information science,” he said. “Now we have a chance … to be a leader.”
“On September 29, 2017, a Chinese satellite known as Micius made possible an unhackable videoconference between Vienna and Beijing, two cities half a world apart. As it whisked across the night sky at 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometers) per hour, the satellite beamed down a small data packet to a ground station in Xinglong, a couple of hours’ drive to the northeast of Beijing. Less than an hour later, the satellite passed over Austria and dispatched another data packet to a station near the city of Graz.”[Vide Martin Giles, “The Man Turning China Into a Quantum Superpower”; MIT Technology Review: 26
Video talks led by Prof. Jian-Wei Pan
Scientists, led by Prof. Jian-Wei Pan of the University of Science and Technology (USTC) of China, shared two small photographs and held a 75-minute video conference between the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, which were secured by a quantum communication mechanism, according to a statement sent to the Global Times. The images were transmitted with the help of two relay stations in China and another in Austria, a research fellow of Jian-Wei Pan’s team told the Global Times. A fiber optics line was used in the last link to both Beijing and Vienna.
The successful communication between the Micius and regions in different countries proves that the satellite is capable of providing quantum communication anywhere in the world, according to the statement.
Next step: encrypted internet
According to Jian-Wei Pan’s team, the next step is to create a complete secure national information system by constructing an encrypted internet using quantum technology, the Global Times reported.
Technical details were published in Physical Review Letters (PRL) after the joint China-Austria team’s successful communications link. Established in 1958, the PRL is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal that is published 52 times per year by the American Physical Society. As also confirmed by various measurement standards, which include the Journal Citation Reports impact factor and the journal h-index proposed by Google Scholar, many physicists and other scientists consider Physical Review Letters to be one of the most prestigious journals in the field of physics.
China’s satellite Micius
Micius Satellite is one of the five scientific experimental satellites established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the field of strategic science and technology. It aims to
A quantum cryptographic key uses entangled photons that are generated between ground stations and China’s satellite Micius, preventing interception of the data. “The laws of quantum mechanics make it physically impossible for the (transmission) to be intercepted and read without eavesdropping being detectable by the sender and receiver,” noted the article in the Physical Review Letters.
The capability demonstrated by Micius “is sufficient for the very early stages of a quantum internet, similar to the state of cell phones in the 1970s,” according to Physics Review Letters, citing Prof. Jian-Wei Pan. He also anticipated that the first real applications of this technique will include encrypted voice calls, faxes, and email for transmitting sensitive financial or diplomatic information.
China has done so well in quantum science
“This is the first demonstration of intercontinental quantum key distribution of any kind, and it will stand as a milestone towards future quantum networks,” according to Physical Review Letters, a magazine under the American Physical Society, citing Ronald Hanson from the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands, who is working on long-distance quantum telecommunication for a quantum internet.
Isaac Chuang, an MIT professor and pioneer of quantum computing, notes that one of the reasons China has done so well in quantum science is the close coordination between its government research groups, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the country’s universities. Europe now has its own quantum master plan to prompt such collaborations, but the US has been slow to produce a comprehensive strategy for developing the technologies and building a future quantum workforce. [Ibid]
The Chinese satellite Micius has successfully performed an ultra-secure, encrypted quantum communication link with ground stations in China and Austria, proving it has
First-class testing and application platform
At the same time, the project will provide a first-class testing and application platform for the continuous innovation and engineering problems of various key technologies and devices for wide area quantum communication, and promote technologies of space laser aiming, space weak light detection, space high precision synchronization, small satellite high-precision attitude maneuver, high-speed
Quantum Science Experimental Satellite project develops and launches a quantum science experimental satellite, and launched the satellite to a 500 km height orbit in Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. While the project constructs four quantum communication ground stations and one space quantum teleportation experimental station as the core of the space-ground integrated quantum science experiment system to complete a series of world-leading scientific experiments.
With the help of the high-precision capture, tracking, targeting system, the experiment will realize the decoy-state quantum key distribution between the satellite and the ground, distribution, to achieve the satellite-to-ground absolutely secure communications based on the quantum key distribution. In this experiment, the satellite distributes the entangled photons to the two ground stations simultaneously, and performs independent quantum measurements of the entangled photons simultaneously, in order to test the completeness of quantum mechanics over 1000 km. The experiment will explore the feasibility of quantum teleportation between the ground stations and the satellite with the help of quantum memory, and complete the experimental study of quantum mechanics non-localization under the space condition. [Vide http://quantum.ustc.edu.cn/web/en].