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科普文章

评论:美国宣布量子互联网国家战略蓝图 | 袁岚峰
发布时间:2020-07-31    1114   风云之声

来源 | 风云之声

作者 | 袁岚峰

导读

民科们反量子通信的常见理由之一,就是“美国不搞这个,可见它没有用处”。现在美国明确要用国家力量来搞了,这些人要不要说“美国政府也被骗了,美国搞量子通信的是骗子”呢?

下文为袁岚峰老师评论,原文见后

2020年7月23日,美国政府宣布了建设量子互联网的蓝图(https://www.energy.gov/articles/us-department-energy-unveils-blueprint-quantum-internet-launch-future-quantum-internet),对此的中文翻译可以见墨子沙龙的文章(美国宣布“量子互联网”国家战略蓝图)。

大多数人可能看不懂其中的科学术语,不过换一个角度讲,就可以明白这是个什么事了。美国是想在量子通信领域赶超中国。

近年来,中国在量子通信领域取得了不少成果,如世界第一颗量子科学实验卫星“墨子号”、世界第一条量子通信干线“京沪干线”。可以说,中国在这个领域是世界领先的,这是少有的中国处于领跑而不是并跑的科学领域之一。中央文件里,也多次把这些作为中国标志性的科学成果。

量子互联网是量子通信的目标之一,主要特点是通过“量子密钥分发”的方法,保证通信的“无条件安全”(即不会被任何数学方法破解)。如果你想了解这些科学原理,可以参见我的许多文章,其中最系统的是4万字的《你完全可以理解量子信息》(你完全可以理解量子信息(1) | 袁岚峰)。你看了以后,就可以对这个学科有全局性的了解了。

一件荒诞的事是,自从中国在量子通信领域领先后,就出现了很多反对、质疑的声音。许多人说这东西是伪科学,是欺骗领导的,潘建伟等人是骗子,说得振振有词。其中还有些作者是国内外名校的工作人员,能讲出不少科学术语,把普通群众绕得将信将疑。

实际上,我已经写过很多文章,解读了这些质疑,它们全都在科学上站不住脚。民科就不论了,那些名校的工作人员也并不是做这方面研究的,甚至根本不是做研究的,他们在谈论自己不擅长不了解的领域时其实跟民科是同一性质。真正的专业人士早就写文章反驳过了他们,但他们从来不听,只是不断地重复自己。专业人士不可能跟他们无休止地纠缠,那样就没时间干正事了。所以在舆论上,就形成了民科声势浩大、专业人士默默无语的奇妙局面。

直到最近,都不时地有朋友拿着这些民科的文章来问我。我现在对他们的基本回答是:民科批判量子通信的文章都是网络文章,从来没有在同行审稿的正经科学杂志发表过,因为它们通不过评审。一边是在Nature、Science、PRL(《物理评论快报》)这样同行审稿的顶级期刊上发了很多文章,另一边是一堆网络文章说人家是骗局,哪边可信不是显而易见的吗?你为什么会觉得这还需要来求证呢?

我对大家有一些更一般性的建议。一个人面对不懂的专业问题,有几种选择。或者,你不想花精力去搞懂,那就不持任何意见。或者,你真的想搞懂,那就自学成为专家。或者,直接听专家的。只有这三种选择是合理的。但许多人是既不懂又想掺和,又不愿意花时间去学,看到民科文章就去质疑专家。这可就难办了,你说对他们应该怎么办呢?

再回到量子通信这个具体的领域。民科们反量子通信的常见理由之一,就是“美国不搞这个,可见它没有用处”。现在美国明确要用国家力量来搞了,这些人要不要说“美国政府也被骗了,美国搞量子通信的是骗子”呢?

如果现在是美国的量子通信领先于中国,你是会说“美国真高大上,中国不行”呢?还是会坚持说美国误入歧途呢?如果不论是谁领先,你都坚持认为量子通信是假的,我倒也敬你能保持逻辑一致性。不过,许多人反量子通信的潜在心理,恐怕就是认为“中国领先的都是假的”吧?如果美国反超了中国,这些人还真是功劳不小哪。

原文如下:

全国协力建设量子网络,引领通信新时代

Nationwide Effort to Build Quantum Networks and Usher in New Era of Communications

(芝加哥,伊利诺伊州) 今天(指当地时间7月23日),在芝加哥大学召开的新闻发布会上,美国能源部公布了一份报告,该报告规划了美国量子互联网发展的战略蓝图,提出要确保美国处于全球量子竞赛的前列,引领通信新时代。该报告为确保《国家量子倡议法案》(于2018年12月由特朗普总统签署而成为法律文件)的顺利施行,提供了行动路线。

CHICAGO, IL – In a press conference today at the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled a report that lays out a blueprint strategy for the development of a national quantum internet, bringing the United States to the forefront of the global quantum race and ushering in a new era of communications. This report provides a pathway to ensure the development of the National Quantum Initiative Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in December of 2018.

全世界正在达成共识,即认为基于量子力学的通信系统是21世纪最重要的技术前沿之一。如今,科学家们相信,在未来十年内,这种通信系统原型机将得以实现。

Around the world, consensus is building that a system to communicate using quantum mechanics represents one of the most important technological frontiers of the 21st century. Scientists now believe that the construction of a prototype will be within reach over the next decade.

今年2月,来自美国能源部的各个国家实验室、大学以及工业界的人士相聚纽约,制定了国家量子互联网的战略蓝图:阐述了需要完成的基本研究内容,描述了工程和设计上的瓶颈,并设定了近期目标。

In February of this year, DOE National Laboratories, universities, and industry met in New York City to develop the blueprint strategy of a national quantum internet, laying out the essential research to be accomplished, describing the engineering and design barriers, and setting near-term goals.

“能源部为在国家量子互联网的发展中所发挥的重要作用感到自豪”,美国能源部长Dan Brouillette说,“通过构建这种新兴技术,美国必将继续保持和扩大量子领域的能力。”

“The Department of Energy is proud to play an instrumental role in the development of the national quantum internet,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “By constructing this new and emerging technology, the United States continues with its commitment to maintain and expand our quantum capabilities.”

美国能源部的17个国家实验室将成为未来量子互联网的支柱。量子互联网将基于量子力学定律来更加安全地控制和传输信息。量子互联网目前处于发展的初始阶段,它将成为一个安全的通信网络,并对科学、工业以及国家安全的关键领域产生深远影响。

DOE’s 17 National Laboratories will serve as the backbone of the coming quantum internet, which will rely on the laws of quantum mechanics to control and transmit information more securely than ever before. Currently in its initial stages of development, the quantum internet could become a secure communications network and have a profound impact on areas critical to science, industry, and national security.

在芝加哥地区,建立这样一个互联网的关键步骤已经在进行中了,那里已经成为全球领先的量子研究中心之一。今年2月,来自能源部阿贡国家实验室(位于伊利诺斯州莱蒙特)和芝加哥大学的科学家们在芝加哥郊区成功建立了一个52英里的纠缠光子“量子环”,这是美国最长的陆基量子网络之一。该网络很快将与能源部费米实验室(位于伊利诺斯州巴达维亚)连接,建立起一个80英里的三节点试验平台。

Crucial steps toward building such an internet are already underway in the Chicago region, which has become one of the leading global hubs for quantum research. In February of this year, scientists from DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, and the University of Chicago entangled photons across a 52-mile “quantum loop” in the Chicago suburbs, successfully establishing one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the nation. That network will soon be connected to DOE’s Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, establishing a three-node, 80-mile testbed.

“芝加哥大学、阿贡国家实验室和费米国家实验室联合,在人才和技术上具有领导地位,使芝加哥在量子信息技术的全球竞争中处于中心地位,”芝加哥大学校长Robert J. Zimmer说,“这项工作将定义和建立全新的研究领域,并势必带来技术应用的新前沿,从而提高世界各地许多人们的生活质量,使我们的城市、州和国家具有长期竞争力。”

“The combined intellectual and technological leadership of the University of Chicago, Argonne, and Fermilab has given Chicago a central role in the global competition to develop quantum information technologies,” said Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago. “This work entails defining and building entirely new fields of study, and with them, new frontiers for technological applications that can improve the quality of life for many around the world and support the long-term competitiveness of our city, state, and nation.”

“在加速科技进步以促进美国繁荣和安全方面,阿贡实验室、费米实验室和芝加哥大学有着悠久的合作历史”,阿贡实验室主任Paul Kearns说,“在应对建立国家量子网络的挑战上,我们将延续传统,扩大合作,充分发挥全国各地科学家和工程师的巨大力量。”

“Argonne, Fermilab, and the University of Chicago have a long history of working together to accelerate technology that drives U.S. prosperity and security,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. “We continue that tradition by tackling the challenges of establishing a national quantum internet, expanding our collaboration to tap into the vast power of American scientists and engineers around the country.”

“几十年后,当我们回望量子互联网的诞生时,我们可以说最初的连接点就在芝加哥——在费米实验室、阿贡实验室和芝加哥大学”,费米实验室主任Nigel Lockyer说,“作为现有科学生态系统的一部分,能源部的国家实验室是最适合来促进这种整合的。”

“Decades from now, when we look back to the beginnings of the quantum internet, we'll be able to say that the original nexus points were here in Chicago—at Fermilab, Argonne, and the University of Chicago,” said Nigel Lockyer, director of Fermilab. “As part of an existing scientific ecosystem, the DOE National Laboratories are in the best position to facilitate this integration.”

一系列独特的能力

A range of unique abilities

量子传输的一个特征是,信息传递过程中,窃听是极其困难的。科学家们计划利用这一特性来建立一个几乎不可破解的网络。早期用户可能包括银行和医疗服务等行业,以及国家安全和飞机通信。最终,量子网络技术在手机中的应用可能会对全世界每一个人的生活产生广泛影响。

One of the hallmarks of quantum transmissions is that they are exceedingly difficult to eavesdrop on as information passes between locations. Scientists plan to use that trait to make virtually unhackable networks. Early adopters could include industries such as banking and health services, with applications for national security and aircraft communications. Eventually, the use of quantum networking technology in mobile phones could have broad impacts on the lives of individuals around the world.

科学家们也正在探索量子互联网如何加速海量数据的交换。该报告称,如果网络可以进行组合和扩展,那么社会可能就处在数据通信突破的风口浪尖。

Scientists are also exploring how the quantum internet could expedite the exchange of vast amounts of data. If the components can be combined and scaled, society may be at the cusp of a breakthrough in data communication, according to the report.

最后,创建超灵敏量子传感器网络可以让工程师能更好地监测和预测地震——一个长期的、难以企及的目标,或者是寻找地下的石油、天然气或矿产。这种传感器还可以应用于医疗健康和成像领域。

Finally, creating networks of ultra-sensitive quantum sensors could allow engineers to better monitor and predict earthquakes—a longtime and elusive goal—or to search for underground deposits of oil, gas, or minerals. Such sensors could also have applications in health care and imaging.

多实验室、多机构的共同努力

A multi-lab, multi-institution effort

要创建一个成熟的量子互联网原型,需要多方的密切协调,包括能源部、国家科学基金委、国防部、国家标准与技术研究所、国家安全局、NASA等联邦机构,以及国家实验室、学术研究所和工业界。

Creating a full-fledged prototype of a quantum internet will require intense coordination among U.S. Federal agencies—including DOE, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the National Security Agency, and NASA—along with National Laboratories, academic institutions, and industry.

该报告列出了关键的研究内容,包括:构建并集成量子网络设备、量子信息的保持和路由,纠错。然后,要把全国性的网络付诸实施,有四个关键的里程碑: 现有光纤网络上安全量子协议的验证;跨越校园或城市发送纠缠信息;扩展网络,实现城市间的连接;最后,通过量子中继增强信号,实现州与州间的量子网络。

The report lays out crucial research objectives, including building and then integrating quantum networking devices, perpetuating and routing quantum information, and correcting errors. Then, to put the nationwide network into place, there are four key milestones: verify secure quantum protocols over existing fiber networks, send entangled information across campuses or cities, expand the networks between cities, and finally expand between states, using quantum “repeaters” to amplify signals.

“量子网络的基础取决于我们在原子尺度上精确合成和操纵物质的能力,包括单光子的控制”,芝加哥大学普利兹克分子工程学院的分子工程学Liew Family讲席教授、阿贡国家实验室高级科学家、Chicago Quantum Exchange主任David Awschalom说,“我们的国家实验室拥有世界一流的设备,可以对材料进行亚原子分辨率的成像,还有最先进的超级计算机来模拟材料的行为。这些强大的资源对于加速量子信息科学和工程的进展,以及在与学术和企业伙伴的合作中领导这一快速发展的领域来说至关重要。”

“The foundation of quantum networks rests on our ability to precisely synthesize and manipulate matter at the atomic scale, including the control of single photons,” said David Awschalom, Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, and director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. “Our National Laboratories house world-class facilities to image materials with subatomic resolution and state-of-the-art supercomputers to model their behavior. These powerful resources are critical to accelerating progress in quantum information science and engineering, and to leading this rapidly evolving field in collaboration with academic and corporate partners.”

“除了与芝加哥大学的合作,费米实验室还与阿贡实验室、加州理工学院、西北大学以及科技新兴公司合作开发架构,并逐步部署和连接横跨芝加哥市的量子通信节点。很快,与这第二组合作者一起,我们将能在一个大都市网络中远距离传输数据”,费米实验室量子项目领头人Panagiotis Spentzouris说,“这份蓝图很重要,它告诉我们如何在全国范围内开展这项工作。”

”In addition to our collaboration with the University of Chicago, Fermilab is working with Argonne, Caltech, Northwestern University and tech startups to develop the architecture and gradually deploy and connect quantum communication nodes across the city of Chicago. Before long, with this second group of collaborators, we'll be teleporting data across a metropolitan network,” said Panagiotis Spentzouris, head of quantum programs at Fermilab. “This blueprint is important for telling us how we build this out nationwide.”

其他国家实验室也在推动量子网络和相关技术的发展。例如,石溪大学和布鲁克海文国家实验室与总部设在劳伦斯伯克利国家实验室的能源部Energy Sciences Network合作,已经建立了一个80英里的量子网络试验平台,同时正积极地在纽约州、橡树岭国家实验室和洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室进行网络的扩展。其他研究小组则专注于开发信息高度安全的量子密码系统。

Other National Laboratories are also driving advances in quantum networking and related technologies. For example, Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, working with the DOE’s Energy Sciences Network headquartered at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have established an 80-mile quantum network testbed and are actively expanding it in New York State and at Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Other research groups are focused on developing a quantum cryptography system with highly secured information.

作者简介:本文作者袁岚峰,中国科学技术大学化学博士,中国科学技术大学合肥微尺度物质科学国家研究中心副研究员,科技与战略风云学会会长,“科技袁人”节目主讲人,安徽省科学技术协会常务委员,中国青少年新媒体协会常务理事,入选“典赞·2018科普中国”十大科学传播人物,微博@中科大胡不归,知乎@袁岚峰(https://www.zhihu.com/people/yuan-lan-feng-8)。

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墨子沙龙是以中国先贤“墨子”命名的大型公益性科普论坛,由中国科学技术大学上海研究院主办,中国科大新创校友基金会、中国科学技术大学教育基金会、浦东新区科学技术协会、中国科学技术协会及浦东新区科技和经济委员会等协办。

墨子是我国古代著名的思想家、科学家,其思想和成就是我国早期科学萌芽的体现,“墨子沙龙”的建立,旨在传承、发扬科学传统,建设崇尚科学的社会氛围,提升公民科学素养,倡导、弘扬科学精神。科普对象为热爱科学、有探索精神和好奇心的普通公众,我们希望能让具有中学及以上学力的公众了解、欣赏到当下全球最尖端的科学进展、科学思想。

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