Volume 3 Issue 4, April 2007

Volume 3 Issue 4

Percolation theory has taught us how to transmit information efficiently through a network of connected nodes. But is the same concept helpful for quantum information, where the task is to distribute entanglement through a network? Yes and no, say Antonio Acín and colleagues. They show that the design of quantum networks can be related to problems studied in 'classical' percolation theory, but they also present examples for which classical strategies fail to yield optimal results, calling for an approach that exploits explicitly the quantum nature of the networks. Acín et al. also argue that the distribution of entanglement through quantum networks defi nes a novel type of critical phenomenon, and that understanding — and using — the associated phase transitions could enable quantum communication over longer distances than had been thought possible. (Artwork by Beata Wehr)

[Letter p256]


  • Editorial |

    The demonstration of the “world's first commercial quantum computer” is as ambitious as it is exciting. But where are the data?


Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    A 'single-photon server', producing a steady stream of single-photon pulses for up to half a minute, has been created by confining, cooling and controlling a neutral atom inside a tiny optical cavity.

    • Alex Kuzmich
    •  & T. A. Brian Kennedy
  • News & Views |

    Motion in assemblies of grains jams at high density and low drive. On approaching the jamming transition, the dynamics becomes increasingly spatially heterogeneous, and strongly reminiscent of the behaviour of glass-forming liquids.

    • Giulio Biroli
  • News & Views |

    Data on the movement of people becomes ever more detailed, but robust models explaining the observed patterns are still needed. Mapping the problem onto a 'network of networks' could be a promising approach.

    • Marta C González
    •  & Albert-László Barabási