QR2.4.4 The Pass-it-on Protocol

How can a quantum network conserve photon transfers? Our universe as a virtual output can’t use a common clock as it has no common time, it can’t use fixed buffers as stars and galaxies occur unpredictably and transfer locks would lead to dead areas that we don’t observe.

When a pebble falls into a still pool, it creates a wave of ripples that spread on its surface. This physical wave begins when the pebble “dents” the pool surface to begin an up-down motion that spreads out in all directions as ripples. Now imagine “dropping” a photon process on the quantum network where by its nature it also spreads out in all directions as quantum wave ripples. A quantum wave isn’t physical but the dynamics are the same. The photon initiates a displacement where it begins that spreads by the dynamic nature of quantum processing.

Any node involved in this processing wave now has two things to do each cycle: run the process in the node and pass it on to its neighbors. For a network, this raises a question irrelevant to physical waves, namely “Which happens first?” One might expect a node to run the photon process first then pass it to its neighbors but this could give transfer losses for asynchronous nodes so it is better to first pass the processing on then run what it receives.

If nodes transferring photon processing waited for destination nodes to finish their cycle, the speed of light might vary for the same route, which it doesn’t. That light doesn’t wait implies that nodes immediately receive any transfer as an interrupt. In computing, an interrupt is a signal that is always received whatever a processor is doing, e.g. in Windows, pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del keys simultaneously generates a CPU interrupt that runs the Task Manager.

The quantum network pass-it-on protocol is that each node first passes on its current process as an interrupt then runs any processing it received. The interrupt may “lose” a cycle but transfers are never lost because interrupting a processing cycle before it finishes isn’t a problem but losing transfers is. That light is immediately passed on makes the speed of light constant and that quantum packages are always passed on avoids transfer losses.

Yet interrupts could cumulate if a circle of nodes each interrupted the next before it finishes its cycle, giving an endless interrupt loop where no processing runs at all, like the deadlock loop earlier. Fortunately, expanding space adds new nodes not just at some “edge” but everywhere. A new node that enters our space has no processing to pass on for its first cycle and receives only, which stops any pass-it-on interrupt build-up. Nodes that accept processing but pass none on prevent pass-it-on interrupts from cumulating.

Since the speed of light is constant, light spreading throughout the universe acts to synchronize the network despite it being decentralized. The effect isn’t perfect but that light transfers everywhere keeps nodes in synchrony.

In this protocol, nothing ever waits so there is no need for buffers, perfect synchrony isn’t required so there is no need for a central clock and one step-transfers avoid a two-step transfer deadlock. The quantum network is decentralized to increase performance and reliability but no transfers are lost. Light moves on every cycle, no transfers are lost, and adding new space prevents infinite pass-it-on interrupts from building up.