Quantum Weirdness: Two Times Zero Doesn't Always Equal Zero

Researchers think they can extract quantum information from two noisy channels that are individually useless

3 min read

In a surprising discovery released this week, physicists have announced that two times zero does not always equal zero.

The new theoretical research examines transmissions of individual quantum states, such as sending a single photon down a fiber-optic cable and reading off its polarization on the far end. Rather than shipping the lone photon down a clean and undisturbed line, the researchers considered sending information down two lines that contained too much static to transmit anything reliably. When the lines were examined alone, each noisy channel proved as useless as a dead telephone jack. However, the researchers calculated that someone on the far end of two noisy channels used together could in fact extract actual information from the individually worthless lines.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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