The breakthrough started with a new entanglement method that ensnares particles in diamond chips at 40 times per second — about 1,000 times faster than before. Previous approaches were slow enough to lose the entanglement more quickly than scientists could create it. The team also found a way to shield entanglements from noise, preventing them from degrading as quickly as they have in the past.
There’s a lot of work to be done before there’s honest-to-goodness networking in place. TU Delft can theoretically add a third node and create a true network, but it has yet to reach that point. And if there’s going to be a real quantum internet, distances have to be measured in kilometers and miles. Researcher have already achieved basic entanglement at distances of about 4,200 feet, though, and hope to connect four Dutch cities through entanglement in 2020. This latest development takes them considerably closer to that goal.