Hebrew U wins gov't quantum communications tender

Prof. Nadav Katz  photo courtesy Hebrew University

The Hebrew University's Quantum Information Science Center will lead a project to develop secure communications technology based on quantum physics.

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.

Prof. Nadav Katz, director of the Quantum Information Science Center, and a researcher at the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics, said: "This project to build a national quantum communications system will position Israel in the leading edge of research toward ultimately secured communication systems. With support from the Government of Israel and in cooperation with our research partners, this is the first Israeli national project in the emerging field of quantum information technologies.”

The NIS 7.5 million 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.

Quantum information research is one of the hottest areas in 21st century science, promising dramatic improvements in computation speed and secure 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.

To help drive this field forward, in 2013 the Hebrew University founded the Quantum Information Science Center and recruited an interdisciplinary team of over 20 researchers from physics, computer science, mathematics, chemistry, philosophy and engineering. Representing the vanguard of Israel’s quantum researchers, this group is advancing our understanding of quantum information science and the development of quantum technologies.

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.

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.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 12, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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Prof. Nadav Katz  photo courtesy Hebrew University
Prof. Nadav Katz photo courtesy Hebrew University
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