We perform decoy-state quantum key distribution between a low-Earth-orbit satellite and multiple ground stations located in Xinglong, Nanshan, and Graz, which establish satellite-to-ground secure keys with ~kHz rate per passage of the satellite Micius over a ground station. The satellite thus establishes a secure key between itself and, say, Xinglong, and another key between itself and, say, Graz. Then, upon request from the ground command, Micius acts as a trusted relay. It performs bitwise exclusive OR operations between the two keys and relays the result to one of the ground stations. That way, a secret key is created between China and Europe at locations separated by 7600 km on Earth. These keys are then used for intercontinental quantum-secured communication. This was on the one hand the transmission of images in a one-time pad configuration from China to Austria as well as from Austria to China. Also, a videoconference was performed between the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which also included a 280 km optical ground connection between Xinglong and Beijing. Our work points towards an efficient solution for an ultralong-distance global quantum network, laying the groundwork for a future quantum internet.
Quantum entanglement was termed "spooky action at a distance" in the well-known paper by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen. Entanglement is expected to be distributed over longer and longer distances in both practical applications and fundamental research into the principles of nature. Here, we present a proposal for distributing entangled photon pairs between the Earth and Moon using a Lagrangian point at a distance of 1.28 light seconds. One of the most fascinating features in this long-distance distribution of entanglement is that we can perform Bell test with human supply the random measurement settings and record the results while still maintaining space-like intervals. To realize a proof-of-principle experiment, we develop an entangled photon source with 1 GHz generation rate, about 2 orders of magnitude higher than previous results. Violation of the Bell's inequality was observed under a total simulated loss of 103 dB with measurement settings chosen by two experimenters. This demonstrates the feasibility of such long-distance Bell test over extremely high-loss channels, paving the way for the ultimate test of the foundations of quantum mechanics.
Long-distance entanglement distribution is essential both for foundational tests of quantum physics and scalable quantum networks. Owing to channel loss, however, the previously achieved distance was limited to ~100 km. Here, we demonstrate satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs to two locations separated by 1203 km on the Earth, through satellite-to-ground two-downlink with a sum of length varies from 1600 km to 2400 km. We observe a survival of two-photon entanglement and a violation of Bell inequality by 2.37+/-0.09 under strict Einstein locality conditions. The obtained effective link efficiency at 1200 km in this work is over 12 orders of magnitude higher than the direct bidirectional transmission of the two photons through the best commercial telecommunication fibers with a loss of 0.16 dB/km.
An arbitrary unknown quantum state cannot be precisely measured or perfectly replicated. However, quantum teleportation allows faithful transfer of unknown quantum states from one object to another over long distance, without physical travelling of the object itself. Long-distance teleportation has been recognized as a fundamental element in protocols such as large-scale quantum networks and distributed quantum computation. However, the previous teleportation experiments between distant locations were limited to a distance on the order of 100 kilometers, due to photon loss in optical fibres or terrestrial free-space channels. An outstanding open challenge for a global-scale "quantum internet" is to significantly extend the range for teleportation. A promising solution to this problem is exploiting satellite platform and space-based link, which can conveniently connect two remote points on the Earth with greatly reduced channel loss because most of the photons' propagation path is in empty space. Here, we report the first quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite - through an up-link channel - with a distance up to 1400 km. To optimize the link efficiency and overcome the atmospheric turbulence in the up-link, a series of techniques are developed, including a compact ultra-bright source of multi-photon entanglement, narrow beam divergence, high-bandwidth and high-accuracy acquiring, pointing, and tracking (APT). We demonstrate successful quantum teleportation for six input states in mutually unbiased bases with an average fidelity of 0.80+/-0.01, well above the classical limit. This work establishes the first ground-to-satellite up-link for faithful and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation, an essential step toward global-scale quantum internet.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) uses individual light quanta in quantum superposition states to guarantee unconditional communication security between distant parties. In practice, the achievable distance for QKD has been limited to a few hundred kilometers, due to the channel loss of fibers or terrestrial free space that exponentially reduced the photon rate. Satellite-based QKD promises to establish a global-scale quantum network by exploiting the negligible photon loss and decoherence in the empty out space. Here, we develop and launch a low-Earth-orbit satellite to implement decoy-state QKD with over kHz key rate from the satellite to ground over a distance up to 1200 km, which is up to 20 orders of magnitudes more efficient than that expected using an optical fiber (with 0.2 dB/km loss) of the same length. The establishment of a reliable and efficient space-to-ground link for faithful quantum state transmission constitutes a key milestone for global-scale quantum networks.
Satellite based quantum communication has been proven as a feasible way to achieve global scale quantum communication network. Very recently, a low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite has been launched for this purpose. However, with a single satellite, it takes an inefficient 3-day period to provide the worldwide connectivity. On the other hand, similar to how the Iridium system functions in classic communication, satellite constellation (SC) composed of many quantum satellites, could provide global real-time quantum communication. In such a SC, most of the satellites will work in sunlight. Unfortunately, none of previous ground testing experiments could be implemented at daytime. During daytime, the bright sunlight background prohibits quantum communication in transmission over long distances. In this letter, by choosing a working wavelength of 1550 nm and developing free-space single-mode fibre coupling technology and ultralow noise up-conversion single photon detectors, we overcome the noise due to sunlight and demonstrate a 53-km free space quantum key distribution (QKD) in the daytime through a 48-dB loss channel. Our system not only shows the feasibility of satellite based quantum communication in daylight, but also has the ability to naturally adapt to ground fibre optics, representing an essential step towards a SC-based global quantum network.
In conventional quantum key distribution (QKD) protocols, security is guaranteed by estimating the amount of leaked information through monitoring signal disturbance, which, in practice, is generally caused by environmental noise and device imperfections rather than eavesdropping. Such estimation therefore tends to overrate the amount of leaked information in practice, leads to a fundamental threshold of the bit error rate. The threshold becomes a bottleneck of the development of practical QKD systems. In classical communication, according to Shannon's communication theory, information can transform through a noisy channel even if the background noise is very strong compare to the signal and hence the threshold of the bit error rate tends to 50%. One might wonder whether a QKD scheme can also tolerate error rate as high as 50%. The question is answered affirmatively with the recent work of round-robin differential phase-shift (RRDPS) protocol, which breaks through the fundamental threshold of the bit error rate and indicates another potential direction in the field of quantum cryptography. The key challenge to realize the RRDPS scheme lies on the measurement device, which requires a variable-delay interferometer. The delay needs to be chosen from a set of predetermined values randomly. Such measurement can be realized by switching between many interferometers with different delays at a high speed in accordance with the system repetition rate. The more delay values can be chosen from, the higher error rate can be tolerated. By designing an optical system with multiple switches and employing an active phase stabilization technology, we successfully construct a variable-delay interferometer with 128 actively selectable delays. With this measurement, we experimentally demonstrate the RRDPS QKD protocol and obtain a final key rate of 15.54 bps via a total loss of 18 dB and 8.9% error rate.
Since the 1990s, there has been a dramatic interest in quantum communication. Free-space quantum communication is being developed to ultra-long distance quantum experiment, which requires higher electronics performance, such as time measurement precision, data-transfer rate, and system integration density. As part of the ground station of quantum experiment satellite that will be launched in 2016, we specifically designed a compact PCI-based multi-channel electronics system with high time-resolution, high data-transfer-rate. The electronics performance of this system was tested. The time bin size is 23.9ps and the time precision root-mean-square (RMS) is less than 24ps for 16 channels. The dead time is 30ns. The data transfer rate to local computer is up to 35 MBps, and the count rate is up to 30M/s. The system has been proven to perform well and operate stably through a test of free space quantum key distribution (QKD) experiment.
Bit commitment is a fundamental cryptographic task that guarantees a secure commitment between two mutually mistrustful parties and is a building block for many cryptographic primitives, including coin tossing, zero-knowledge proofs, oblivious transfer and secure two-party computation. Unconditionally secure bit commitment was thought to be impossible until recent theoretical protocols that combine quantum mechanics and relativity were shown to elude previous impossibility proofs. Here we implement such a bit commitment protocol. In the experiment, the committer performs quantum measurements using two quantum key distribution systems and the results are transmitted via free-space optical communication to two agents separated with more than 20 km. The security of the protocol relies on the properties of quantum information and relativity theory. We show that, in each run of the experiment, a bit is successfully committed with less than 5.68*10^-2 cheating probability. Our result demonstrates unconditionally secure bit commitment and the experimental feasibility of relativistic quantum communication.
In the well-known EPR paper, Einstein et al. called the nonlocal correlation in quantum entanglement as `spooky action at a distance'. If the spooky action does exist, what is its speed? All previous experiments along this direction have locality loopholes and thus can be explained without having to invoke any `spooky action' at all. Here, we strictly closed the locality loopholes by observing a 12-hour continuous violation of Bell inequality and concluded that the lower bound speed of `spooky action' was four orders of magnitude of the speed of light if the Earth's speed in any inertial reference frame was less than 10^(-3) times of the speed of light.
Quantum key distribution (QKD), provides the only intrinsically unconditional secure method for communication based on principle of quantum mechanics. Compared with fiber-based demonstrations-, free-space links could provide the most appealing solution for much larger distance. Despite of significant efforts, so far all realizations rely on stationary sites. Justifications are therefore extremely crucial for applications via a typical Low Earth Orbit Satellite (LEOS). To achieve direct and full-scale verifications, we demonstrate here three independent experiments with a decoy-state QKD system overcoming all the demanding conditions. The system is operated in a moving platform through a turntable, a floating platform through a hot-air balloon, and a huge loss channel, respectively, for substantiating performances under rapid motion, attitude change, vibration, random movement of satellites and in high-loss regime. The experiments cover expanded ranges for all the leading parameters of LEOS. Our results pave the way towards ground-satellite QKD and global quantum communication network.
A long standing goal for quantum communication is to transfer a quantum state over arbitrary distances. Free-space quantum communication provides a promising solution towards this challenging goal. Here, through a 97-km free space channel, we demonstrate long distance quantum teleportation over a 35-53 dB loss one-link channel, and entanglement distribution over a 66-85 dB high-loss two-link channel. We achieve an average fidelity of 80.4(9)% for teleporting six distinct initial states and observe the violation of the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt inequality after distributing entanglement. Besides being of fundamental interest, our result represents a significant step towards a global quantum network. Moreover, the high-frequency and high-accuracy acquiring, pointing and tracking technique developed in our experiment provides an essential tool for future satellite-based quantum communication.