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Teleported by electronic circuit: Physicists ‘beam’ information

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Posted August 19, 2013

ETH-researchers cannot “beam” objects or humans of flesh and blood through space yet, a feat sometimes alluded to in science fiction movies. They managed, however, to teleport information from A to B – for the first time in an electronic circuit, similar to a computer chip.

Physicists at ETH Zurich have for the first time successfully teleported information in a so-called solid state system. The researchers did it by using a device similar to a conventional computer chip. The essential difference to a usual computer chip is that the information is not stored and processed based on the laws of classical physics, but on those of quantum physics. In a study, which is published in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature, the researchers were able to teleport information across a distance of about six millimeters, from one corner of a chip to the opposite one. This was shown to be possible without transporting the physical object carrying the information itself from the sender’s to the receiver’s corner.

“Usually, in telecommunication information is transmitted by electromagnetic pulses. In mobile communications, for example, microwave pulses are used, while in fiber connections it is optical pulses,” explains Andreas Wallraff, Professor at the Department of Physics and head of the study. In contrast, quantum teleportation does not transport the information carrier itself, but only the information. This is possible due to the quantum mechanical properties of the system, in particular the entanglement established between the sender and the receiver. For non-physicists, entanglement constitutes a “magic” link between the two parties which exploits the laws of quantum physics.

“Like beaming”

As a prerequisite for quantum teleportation, an entangled state is created between the sender and the receiver. After that the two parties can be physically separated from each other while preserving their shared entangled state. In the present experiment the physicists program a bit of quantum information into their device at the sender. Because the two parties are entangled, this information can be read out at the receiver. “Quantum teleportation is comparable to beaming as shown in the science fiction series Star Trek,” says Wallraff. “The information does not travel from point A to point B. Instead, it appears at point B and disappears at point A, when read out at point B.”

 

Read more at: Phys.org

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