The Department of Energy has announced that it will grant Fermilab and partner institutions $3.2 million to develop designs for transparent optical quantum networks and demonstrate their operation in the greater Chicago area.

The proposed Illinois-Express Quantum Network, or IEQNET, connects nodes at Fermilab and proposed nodes at Northwestern University’s Chicago and Evanston campuses. The metropolitan-scale network uses a combination of cutting-edge quantum and classical technologies to transmit quantum information and will be designed to coexist with classical networks.

“Our team brings together researchers who are leading the way in quantum communications, classical networking, quantum devices and fast-timing electronics,” said scientist Panagiotis Spentzouris, head of quantum science at Fermilab and the project’s principal investigator. “That marriage of world-class expertise enables us to develop the new network.”

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