Making Teleportation into reality

Thursday, May 16, 2013 0 comments

Scientists in Cambridge have made a quantum leap that could lead to the creation of futuristic, superfast computers capable of teleportation.

Experts from Cambridge University and other researchers around the world are trying to find a way of teleporting quantum information – sending huge amounts of data at incredible speed from one place to another.

Quantum teleportation, as it is known, relies on an aspect of physics known as "entanglement", where the properties of two particles can be linked together even when they are far apart.

Now for the first time, physicists in Cambridge – working with colleagues at University College London and the University of Gdansk – have figured out how entanglement could be ‘recycled’ to increase the efficiency of the connections.

The research, published today in the journal Physical Review Letters, could conceivably take the world a step closer to sci-fi style teleportation in the future – but the research is purely theoretical in nature.

Teleportation was once considered impossible, but in 1993 a team of scientists calculated that it could work in principle, using quantum laws. Theoretically, "bites" of information – called qubits – could travel across potentially vast distances in an instant.

Until now, no practical way of doing this has been devised, but the team from Cambridge, London and Poland say they believe it can be done.

Sergii Strelchuk, from Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, said: "Entanglement has been proven to be a very real feature of our universe, and one that has extraordinary potential to advance all manner of scientific endeavour.

"There is a close connection between teleportation and quantum computers, which are devices which exploit quantum mechanics to perform computations which would not be feasible on a classical computer.

"Building a quantum computer is one of the great challenges of modern physics, and it is hoped that the new teleportation protocol will lead to advances in this area."

While the Cambridge physicists’ work is completely theoretical, last year a team of Chinese scientists reported teleporting photons over 143km, breaking previous records, and quantum entanglement is increasingly seen as an important area of scientific investment.


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