Beam me up: quantum teleporter breakthrough

April 18, 2011

The teleporter in the lab of Professor Akira Furusawa at the University of Tokyo

Researchers at the University of South Wales have achieved a breakthrough in quantum communications and computing using a teleporter and wave packets of light representing the famous thought experiment known as Schrodinger’s Cat (in classical physics terms, an oscillation having two opposite phases at the same time, like the famous cat being both living and dead).

The experiment is the first transfer or “teleportation” (destroyed in one place and recreated in another one) of a particular complex set of quantum information from one point to another, according to the researchers.

It opens the way for high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via quantum communications networks.

“I don’t believe this allows the transmission of classical information such as a file at speeds fasterthan the speed of light,” says Ray Kurzweil. “It can be used to transmit ‘quantum information,’ such as a randomly generated encryption code to two different places, but not a predetermined file of information.  So it does not violate Einstein’s speed limit (of the speed of light) on the transmission of information.  If we could do that (transmit predetermined information faster than the speed of light) then we could infuse the universe quickly with computronium (quickly as in under a century, starting from the late 21st century).”

The experiments were conducted on a machine known as “the teleporter” in the laboratory of Professor Akira Furusawa in the Department of Applied Physics in the University of Tokyo.

Professor Huntington, who leads a research program for the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication, developed the high-speed communication part of the teleporter at UNSW’s Canberra campus with PhD student James Webb.

Ref.: Elanor Huntington and Akira Furusawa et al., Teleportation of Nonclassical Wave Packets of Light, Science, April 15, 2011

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