A3 Introduction

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The purpose of quantum information is to use the properties of quantum physics to perform tasks that are impossible with classical physics only. In quantum communication one considers communication tasks, i.e., scenarios in which multiple parties want share or distribute some information where they have not only classical, but also quantum systems at their disposal.

Probably the most prominent task of quantum communication is quantum cryptography. It promises to enable communication safe against eavesdropping, where the security is guaranteed by the fundamental physical laws. The reason for this security is one of the basic properties of quantum physics, namely the principle that no measurement on a quantum system can be performed without disturbing the system.

In this course we will define the notion of communication and information in technical terms, first for classical and then for quantum systems. We will explain a fundamental quantum cryptography protocol (the BB84) and explain the principle of "no measurement without disturbance". Finally we will explain some of the technical requirements and obstacles of quantum communication.