Date – 2100
Place – Shanghai, China
As humans have evolved, so has our ability to communicate. The basic need to exchange information is vital to our survival, our understanding of how the world works, and our ability to pass knowledge on to future generations.
By the end of the 21st century there were well over 500 subsea telecommunications systems using 1.5 million kilometres of cable carrying 5 billion kilometres of fibre to connect 1,306 landing points on every continent on earth except Antarctica.
It wasn’t enough. More and more information was being generated and consumed both by people and by machines.
Quantum teleportation had first been proposed as a means of information transfer by Charles Bennet and his colleagues at IBM Research – a once dominant technology company – as described in their seminal paper “Teleporting an Unknown Quantum State via Dual Classical and Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Channels” in the late 20th century.
It took a long time, but by the late 22nd century the intriguing phenomenon of quantum entanglement had been harnessed to allow reliable propagation of qubits of information over long distances, making it possible to construct quantum networks capable of carrying almost limitless amounts of information.
The final proof was demonstrated experimentally at scale in 2210 when 1 qubit of information was transmitted from Shanghai to Ireland over the 39,000km SeaMeWe-3 fibre cable and the Scotland-Northern-Ireland link running from Portpatrick to Donaghadee.
The exhibit is a braid of cables from transmission stations across the network that was used to celebrate this global endeavour.