Jun 19, 2022

Quantum Internet Is a Step Closer After Quantum Teleportation Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, quantum physics

Actually transporting quantum states over significant distances is tricky, though. Researchers have had some success transmitting messages tied up in the quantum states of photons over several hundred miles of optical cables, and also using satellite quantum communication to establish links over even greater distances. But the inevitable signal losses over either mode of communication mean that scaling up to the distances required for a true internet will be tricky.

One workaround is to exploit another quantum phenomenon called teleportation. This works much like the sci-fi concept used in shows like Star Trek, allowing information to be instantaneously transmitted from one place to another, theoretically over unlimited distances. And now, researchers from the Netherlands have provided the first practical demonstration of how this could work.

The team set up three quantum “nodes” called Alice, Bob, and Charlie, which are able to store quantum information in qubits—the quantum equivalent of bits in a computer made from nitrogen vacancy centers. These are tiny defects in diamonds that can be used to trap electrons and alter their quantum state. They then connected Alice to Bob and Bob to Charlie using optical fibers.

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