A technological innovation has made possible sustained, high-fidelity quantum teleportation, a pivotal point in the direction of the quantum Internet, the shift that will usher in a new era in the field of communication. The development was carried out by researchers from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), dependent on the United States Department of Energy and affiliated with the University of Chicago.
According to a release, the qubits of photons were teleported through a 44-kilometer fiber optic network, using state-of-the-art photon detectors. The scientist Panagiotis Spentzouris, director of Fermilab’s quantum science program and one of those responsible for the research, indicated that “this achievement is vital on the path to building a technology that will redefine the way we conduct global communication.”
The specialist refers to a really viable quantum Internet, a network in which information stored in qubits is shared over a long distance through entanglement processes. It is clear that the availability of such a network would transform areas such as data storage and computing in general, ushering in a new era for communications on a planetary scale.
While traditional computing encodes information using zeros and ones, in quantum technologies this binary system is transformed: zeros and ones overlap and work simultaneously. Consequently, the quantum Internet will allow the transmission of large volumes of data at speeds higher than that of light, without distance limitations and with a level of information security that is much higher than current standards.
Entanglement and quantum teleportation
Now: what is quantum teleportation and how does it take place? It is a non-physical transfer of quantum states from one place to another. The teleportation of a qubit is achieved through quantum entanglement, a phenomenon in which two or more particles are indissolubly linked to each other. As these particles are intertwined between two different locations, without influencing the distance between them, the information that is encoded is teleported.
According to the results of the research published in the journal PRX Quantum, the team of specialists achieved sustained quantum teleportation over time and over a long distance with a fidelity greater than 90%. It is considerable progress in the search for systems of quantum teleportation scalable, high-performance and long-term sustainable.
The breakthrough was made possible using compatible networks, both with today’s existing telecommunications infrastructure and next-generation quantum processing and storage devices. This integration makes it possible to optimize the fidelity and the entanglement distribution rate, a vital aspect in the quantum communication protocols that new technologies and applications will demand.
The scientists even indicated that this remarkable advance would be beginning to lay the foundations for the implementation of a metropolitan quantum Internet network in the urban area of Chicago, in the United States.
Are we at the beginning of the long-awaited quantum revolution in the field of communications? How long will it take for us to see it impact our homes and our daily lives? For now, 2021 promises to be a year of significant progress in the area of quantum technologies and other related sectors.
Teleportation Systems Towards a Quantum Internet. Valivarthi al. PRX Quantum (2020) .DOI: https: //doi.org/10.1103/PRXQuantum.1.020317
Cover photo: Denny Müller en Unsplash.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.