The Quantum Telegraph
Space doesn't count and the words don't matter...
Pros and cons
There are some serious benefits to this technology, but also some serious drawbacks.
- Instant communication: Regardless of time or distance, one can send a message that will instantly be received when the particles are measured.
- Reliable, to a degree: Large sums of data can be transferred so long as it can be created in the span of two minutes. This data is fairly easy to interpret even if some of the words are incorrect or missing.
- Limited Length:Message length should be as short as possible. The longer it is, the longer it takes to construct the message. And it's possible that even the shortest message won't send due to probability surrounding quantum states.
- Time Sensitive: If the two-minute interval passes before the message is properly constructed, the message must be rebuilt from the beginning, as it won't be sent in its entirety. While this isn't always a problem, crucial parts of a message may be missing when received.
- Resources: The chips are hard to produce and every computer will need chips of their own, along with transmission and reception chips for every other quantum address. This makes upkeep a tedious game of record keeping to know which computers can communicate with others, and move to rectify when possible.
- Prone to Error: Flagged messages occur when a measurement COULD contain a message. The nature of probability makes it where words can easily be found and sometimes messages can be interpreted that don't actually say anything. There's also a small chance a message will say something, but have incorrect spelling, swapped letters, and sometimes saying something that is not meant to be said at all.
- Superposition Collapse: Sometimes, superpositions in quantum particles will collapse regardless of the soft measurements. This ruins their entangled state and makes them impossible to use. The computers can detect this, but it means the chips require upkeep and routine repairs.
You can't send voice or video recordings, nor can you send complex layouts of data. The only form a message can take is text. Furthermore, these messages depend on the language of the sender, and their ability to spell correctly. It's crucial for every operator and computer to speak the same language, or messages will not be flagged. Even if flagged, the operator needs to be able to read it. There are currently 48 quantum computers capable of communicating with each other. This means there are 2304 chips needed to keep the network operating properly. With every new addition, the number grows exponentially, and it can take significant amounts of time to outfit every computer. Most of these computers are on Persephone class frigates, ships operated by Wayfarers used to explore the outer reaches of the galaxy. This problem is helped by creating these chips beforehand. Outfitting new ships with chips others were preemptively equipped with prevents having to recall the wayfarers for upgrades.