Teleportation was proved in a very consistent way by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) as reported in a paper published by Nature.com on Aug. 14th. A special solid state chip, similar to a traditional microprocessor, successfully teleported information using a strange behavior in quantum mechanics: entanglement.
While the teleportation that was achieved was nothing like what science fiction would have us think, no people or objects where moved in this experiment, however, it is no less significant successfully teleporting 10,000 bits of quantum information per second on a chip similar to a traditional microprocessor.
In the experiment, scientists took a solid state, superconducting circuit seven millimeters square and successfully entangled particles on opposite corners of the chip. They were able to entangle the particles with a controlled burst of microwave-photons, before cooling the circuit down to nearly absolute zero in order to access the quantum state.
Once set up the experimenters were able to successfully send information to the sending circuit and have all data sent successfully decoded at the other end of the receiving circuit. While the distance between the ends of the circuit were not large, it was about six millimeters, it is much more significant that the volume of information sent was intact on the other end.
This could be a significant step towards useful quantum computers, not to mention the ability to move vast amounts of information in quantum bits, which hold much more information than traditional bits, instantly between any two points. One could easily see the advantage when we begin sending maned missions to other planets having instant and reliable communication. As well as the fact that we will be able to store and process infinitely more information in a much smaller space.
While similar experiments with teleporting information have been set up in the past over larger distances, they have not had the successful consistency that ETHZ had. Although, all previous experiments have used photos instead of electrons, which may be a large part of the success, and may have been an underlying cause for the inconsistency.
The integrity of information, not to mention its high volume, is incredibly impressive when you consider that a quantum state has four basic expressions. Unlike the computer bit, which has only two (on or off), a quantum bit is three dimensions and can have a number of different states, primarily four. These four states are typically referred to as Bell-states. This means that the state of the quantum entangled particle ‘encrypts’ the information it is given and the state of that sender particle needs to be measured in order to properly ‘decode’ the data that was sent. Researchers at ETHZ have solved this issue by having the particles ‘share’ their quantum state, assuring that the data can be properly ‘decrypted.’
The next step for ETHZ scientists is to use two different chips all together, thus moving the physical pieces further apart. Each success means another step closer to future quantum computers and through the use of entanglement, instantaneous communication irregardless to physical distance. All technological leaps which will drastically transform the ways in which we work and interact in the world. And, who knows, maybe computers teleporting bits with quantum mechanics is just the first step in teleporting people and objects.
By Iam Bloom