Dutch scientists have demonstrated that the quantum teleportation of data is possible, 100 percent oft he time, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday — in your face, Einstein! The teleportation of matter, and people, via teleportation devices like in Star Trek, is still a long way off; but, the discovery by the Dutch researchers could eventually led to computers that can transmit data reportedly much, much faster, and more securely, than the computers of today.
The quantum teleportation of data has been a goal of scientists around the world for decades, but Albert Einstein doubted it was possible. Einstein didn’t believe in the the theory of quantum entanglement, that posits that connected particles remain somehow linked to each other, or entangled with each other, even when they are separated by space. He considered that the possibility would involve “spooky action at a distance.” Einstein believed that quantum particles shouldn’t act as if they were still connected or entangled with each other once separated, and that the idea that they were still entangled was “spooky.”
The scientists who have moved tantalizingly closer to proving particles are connected and entangled at a quantum level, by demonstrating quantum teleportation of data over the space of three meters or about 10 feet, are physicists from the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology. They have been able to do it at this relatively short distance, according to a report in the New York Times, without there being any alteration to the spin state of an electron.
In other words, the scientists were able to teleport information in a quantum state without it being changed or altered in any way. The data that was teleported was moved in the form of quantum bits of information. If the state of the information is “read,” the data will automatically be destroyed, which could make the information more secure from hackers. Quantum bits of information (qubits) can have more than one value at the same time, which also allows for the possibility of more secure and faster systems. When such a system is developed, it will become the new standard of security.
Also, the Dutch scientists were able to teleport the data deterministically, which means they made it work every single time they tried it over the distance of 10 feet. They will next try to achieve this feat at larger distances, eventually at over a kilometer.
in 2009, researchers at the University of Maryland had very limited success attempting to accomplish quantum teleportation. They succeeded only one in every 100 million tries. They could teleport a single quantum bit of information, but it took them ten minutes to do so.
If the Dutch scientists succeed at keeping data particles entangled at distances of greater than a kilometer, they will have also succeeded in solving Bell’s Theorem, proving that particles entangled at the quantum level can communicate data faster than the speed of light.
The Dutch researchers stored qubits in diamond “prisons” at a low temperature, according to a report at the Motherboard.com site. Then, the particles, two electrons and a nucleus, were “excited” using lasers. This process made the particles “entangled” with each other. After this, they put a spin upon the electrons in the qubits of data and teleported the data ten feet. The first qubit was destroyed, but the data was reportedly “consumed” at the other end of the ten feet, and the data was successfully teleported in this manner.
If an impregnable quantum Internet system able to transmit data through quantum teleporation was developed, it could make it possible for someone to perform a quantum calculation on a server, without the operator of the server being able to determine anything about the calculation.
Currently, the idea of having a quantum Internet or practical quantum computers is one that is not likely to happen in the very near future. That’s because computers capable of the quantum teleportation of data would have to be both capable of entangling a large number of qubits and also keep them entangled for indefinite periods of time. When someone does eventually develop such computers, they will be able to send e-mails, messages and other data much more securely and quickly than present-day computers can.
There is a race on to develop such computers and a quantum Internet. China has already announced that it has the goal of building the largest quantum communications network in the world. The United States Department of Defense’s DARPA and the NSA are also working on quantum computing, as are other scientists in countries around the world. Though you won’t be able to order a quantum computer on the Internet or run out and buy one anytime soon, the research of people like the Danish scientists is pushing quantum teleportation more and more towards that day when you can.
Written by: Douglas Cobb