Quantum trickery could lead to stealth radar

April 1, 2011 | Source: New Scientist Tech

A team led by Saikat Guha at Raytheon BBN Technologies says they can transmit 10 bits on a single photon — a 1000-fold improvement over traditional methods of transmitting data, such as fiber optics or laser-based radar.

The method uses quantum entanglement. Each entangled pair of photons is separated by passing a laser beam through a filter made from a nonlinear crystal. This splits the beam in two so that each exiting beam contains one photon of an entangled pair.

Laboratory experiments show that this method can be used to glean more data from each photon than conventional methods. This means significantly less light is needed to get the same imaging quality as with conventional laser radar.

The technology can also be used to transmit data at greater rates than conventional light or radio transmissions, and because less light is required, it allows for stealth laser-based radar.