Quantum NETwork: from theory to practice

The quantum internet is envisioned as the ultimate stage of the quantum revolution, which surpasses its classical counterpart in various aspects, such as the efficiency of data transmission, the security of network services, and the capability of information processing. Given its disruptive impact on the national security and the digital economy, a global race to build scalable quantum networks has already begun. With the joint effort of national governments, industrial participants, and research institutes, the development of quantum networks has advanced rapidly in recent years, bringing the first primitive quantum networks within reach.

In this work, we aim to provide an up-to-date review of the field of quantum networks from both theoretical and experimental perspectives, contributing to a better understanding of the building blocks required for the establishment of a global quantum internet.

We also introduce a newly developed quantum network toolkit to facilitate the exploration and evaluation of innovative ideas. Particularly, it provides dual quantum computing engines, supporting simulations in both the quantum circuit and measurement-based models. It also includes a compilation scheme for mapping quantum network protocols onto quantum circuits, enabling their emulations on real-world quantum hardware devices.

We showcase the power of this toolkit with several featured demonstrations, including a simulation of the Micius quantum satellite experiment, a testing of a four-layer quantum network architecture with resource management, and a quantum emulation of the CHSH game.

We hope that this work can give a better understanding of the state-of-the-art development of quantum networks and provide the necessary tools to make further contributions along the way.

Quantum NETwork: from theory to practice (White Paper)
Kun Fang, Jingtian Zhao, Xiufan Li, Yifei Li, Runyao Duan
Science China Information Sciences 66: 180509 (2023)
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