CONNECT, SFI Research Centre for Future Networks & Communications, based at Trinity College Dublin, has hosted the Dublin node of a pan-European Quantum Internet Hackathon. The event, involving several dozen participants, took place simultaneously in six European locations including CERN in Geneva, Paris, Sarajevo, Padua and Delft. The hackathon was part of CONNECT’s further expansion in the fields of quantum communications and quantum networks research.

The Dublin team included network engineers, mathematicians and telecommunications researchers drawn from Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University, and Waterford Institute of Technology.

Dr Harun Šiljak, postdoctoral research fellow at CONNECT and organiser of the Dublin node of the hackathon, said: "This was a pioneering event, applying quantum mechanics to the area of secure communications. We looked at how this can be applied to the problems of today’s internet, especially issues such as security and privacy. Everyday uses such as e-mail, chat, and secure browsing can all benefit from the integration of quantum methods, and these areas were explored this week."

"The team in Trinity focused, in particular, on solving the challenge of making a quantum coin. This quantum communication-supported currency has all the advantages of quantum security, making it virtually impossible to create a forgery and guaranteeing ease of use and verification."

"The quantum internet will not replace existing telecoms infrastructure. It is enhancing it with the advantages offered by quantum mechanics. Synchronisation, consensus, security, all of these critical features of networks can be enormously improved using the most famous of quantum properties: the entanglement. A large number of quantum protocols have been developed by researchers and professionals worldwide, and the hackathon participants had the opportunity to implement them, suggest improvements and examine their performance in practice."

"The hackathon this week was not a competition: the aim was to develop new skills, share ideas, and hopefully receive some inspiration for future research. Hackathons have an enduring value. After today, the participants will talk about the Quantum Internet when they are back in their offices, and are likely to attract more researchers and creative minds to the field. Indeed, that is one of the reasons we hosted the event here in CONNECT in Trinity this week. We want to make the Quantum Internet visible to the wider community, and in particular to deepen our research in Quantum Communications and Quantum Networks. If anyone is interested in talking to us, they can contact us via the classical Internet and help the development of the Quantum Internet.”