Israel Funding University Research into Super Secure Quantum Communications

This system in the lab at the Hebrew University’s Quantum Information Science Center is used to control light in optical fibers, shaping the wavefront of photons using a fiber piano. (Photo courtesy of Yitz Woolf for Hebrew University)

Imagine a communications system that uses some of the smallest particles known to man, and then imagine that that system makes that communication even more resistant to hacking. Israel certainly is, which is why the nation’s Ministry of Defense awarded 7.5 million shekels ($2.12 million) to Hebrew University to pursue research into quantum communications. The project’s ultimate goal is develop the talent and technology necessary to develop a system that “will prevent eavesdropping, protect data privacy and secure national infrastructure,” said a press release from the University.

Quantum communications—which is based on quantum physics and the special characteristics of matter and light at the infinitesimally small scale—could be the key to the future of securing data. “Current methods of encrypting data are increasingly vulnerable to attack as the increased power of quantum computing comes online,” said the press release. “Quantum communication systems use the laws of physics to secure data and are therefore resistant to attack.”

The research project will include building a system that is “based on single photons representing quantum bits.” The Hebrew University press release said that the quantum level makes it possible to “perform calculations in new ways that are not possible in current communications systems or even supercomputers.”

Hebrew University already is home to the Quantum Information Science Center (QISC), which studies the unique nature of quantum physics and has made advancements in a variety of applications of the science.

“This project to build a national quantum communications system will position Israel in the leading edge of research toward ultimately secured communication systems,” Prof. Nadav Katz, director of the Quantum Information Science Center, and a researcher at the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics, was quoted in the press release as saying.

“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.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 12, 2017)


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