Plans to barricade Israel’s communications in a super-secure quantum world moved a step forward this week, with the green light for a new national research centre.

It comes after the Quantum Information Science Center at Hebrew University won a government tender to build a new national system to prevent eavesdropping, protect private data and secure the nation’s infrastructure behind a quantum wall.

Researchers will use cutting-edge technology and advanced physics to harness single photons – particles of light – to perform calculation that even supercomputers cannot manage.

The multi-disciplinary team, comprising physicists, computer scientists, mathematicians, chemists, engineers and even philosophers, are aiming for massive improvements in computation speed and secure communication.

“It will position Israel at the leading-edge of research toward ultimately secured communication systems,” said the University’s Professor Nadav Katz.

“With support from the Government of Israel and in cooperation with our research partners, this is the first Israeli national project in the emerging field of quantum information technologies.”

The project funding was awarded by Israel’s Ministry of Defence and will include contractors from Rafael, one of the country’s leading defence technology companies.

Prof. Nadav Katz with a low temperature setup for testing superconducting detectors at the Hebrew University's Quantum Information Science Center. (Credit: Yitz Woolf for Hebrew University)

Prof. Nadav Katz with a low temperature setup for testing superconducting detectors at the Hebrew University’s Quantum Information Science Center.
(Credit: Yitz Woolf for Hebrew University)