Albert Einstein was dead on the money about quantum mechanics.
He referred to the entanglement of subatomic particles like photons “spooky action.”
Let me explain. Quantum computing makes use of subatomic particles to store information. This is very different from standard computers.
See, classical computing makes use of data stored as either a 0 or a 1. But quantum systems make use of subatomic particles like photons or electronics, that can exist in both states at the same time.
And if federal officials and a team of elite scientists have their way, it could lead to a much more secure internet.
Backed by $1.25 billion from the Trump administration, the team hopes to create a hack-proof Web.
Turns out, one tech leader is years ahead of the pack here. And it’s a company whose stock is set to double in price…
Now then, under the Trump administration’s National Quantum Initiative, the Department of Energy is working with the University of Chicago to build a parallel, quantum Internet.
One that would be impossible to eavesdrop on.
As you can imagine, the military, intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and the finance industry are very interested. They have to send highly personal, dangerous, or critical information every minute of every day.
Hackers eavesdropping on banks could lead to someone’s identity being stolen or their accounts emptied.
If the communication of our intelligence agencies or military were compromised, the consequences would be much, much worse.
To make a complicated quantum physics story short, anyone eavesdropping on quantum entangled signals is guaranteed to change those signals, breaking the entanglement.
So, anyone who starts receiving bits of garbled information instantly knows someone else is listening and can break off the connection.
There is no getting around it. Quantum physics simply does not allow, under any circumstances, for entangled particles to be copied or “resent.”
A quantum network like this is very different from current encryption. Secure messages today don’t rely on the laws of physics, but on current computers being too slow to unscramble a message in less than hundreds or thousands of years.
The trick in making a quantum Internet reality is how to keep entangled particles from spontaneously untangling, something that gets more and more likely the further the signal has to travel.
That’s where the National Quantum Initiative comes in.
Using 52 miles of unused fiber-optic cables under Chicago, the University of Chicago already has a prototype quantum network running.
The next step is to connect it to the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Laboratories in Batavia, Illinois. The result would be an 80-mile network prototype to test quantum communication on.
That’s set to be completed in the summer of 2021.
In other words, we’re at the cusp of a new quantum-based web, fully secured from unintended listeners.
And while the full buildout could take up to a decade, there’s legendary tech firm already preparing its customers for that future.
The Quantum Cloud
I’m talking about none other than Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).
In addition to the software it’s famous for, Microsoft has eight quantum computing laboratories scattered around the world. These labs work on everything from the programming languages and software required to make quantum communication a reality to quantum computers, which will allow for new advances in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, AI, and even managing traffic congestion.
In fact, Microsoft is already developing its own kind of quantum computer the firm hopes will be more stable and easier to commercialize than current approaches.
The firm is also making sure it and its customers are ready for when quantum communication and computing hits the mainstream.
Microsoft has been busy integrating quantum computing into its Azure cloud system, the second-largest cloud platform in the world.
This allows customers to trial-run quantum computing algorithms over the cloud, preparing them for the coming of a quantum web and quantum computers.
While Microsoft’s Azure cloud may be second to Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) AWS cloud, Microsoft is growing aggressively.
Enabling Azure customers to prepare for the coming of quantum computing gives Microsoft another leg up in the battle for the cloud. So does its advanced work on quantum communication, computers, and encryption.
Microsoft is putting itself right in the middle of the coming quantum web boom. It also is:
- Inviting companies to test-run quantum solutions on Azure.
- Releasing programming languages needed to develop quantum apps.
- Networking with quantum software startups through its Startup Summit,
But you don’t have to wait for quantum computing to take off to see Microsoft grow aggressively.
Innovation and Growth
The firm’s recent quarterly earnings were strong, with revenue coming in at $38 billion. That’s up 13% compared to a year ago, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns.
And with the pandemic forcing millions of people to work from home, Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform’s revenue grew even faster, by a whopping 47%.
So it’s no wonder that Microsoft has been growing its earnings per share by an average of 18% a year. That means that, despite its size, Microsoft is set to double in just four years.
Cheers and good investing,
— Michael A. Robinson