Teleportation, Science Fiction Without the Fiction

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At TU Delft, a university in the Netherlands, have successfully sent quantum data, a single qubit, via teleportation.  While teleportation of people and things is still only for the imagination, scientists managed to spirit the qubit across a distance of three meters.

In a paper titled, “Unconditional quantum teleportation between distant solid-state quantum bits”, recently published in Sciencethe researchers were able to perform the feat through use of a phenomenon called quantum entanglement.  Essentially, quantum entanglement is, as when Professor Ronald Hanson explains it,

“Entanglement is arguably the strangest and most intriguing consequence of the laws of quantum mechanics. When two particles become entangled, their identities merge: their collective state is precisely determined, but the individual identity of each of the particles has disappeared. The entangled particles behave as one, even when separated by a large distance.”

A concept even Albert Einstein found unsettling, quantum entanglement is a weird concept to consider, but the researchers at TU Delft are nothing but intrigued, using diamonds inside computer chips to give nitrogen atoms pre-determined spin patterns within each diamond, then the researchers gave instructions for the atoms to flip their spins, and to their surprise and glee, the atoms simultaneously switched spins.

Eventually, scientists hope to explore the phenomenon that is quantum entanglement further, and eventually use it to use as high bandwidth, long distance data transfer, and plan to increase the distance of their current experiment to 1,300 meters.  Success would mean revolutionizing data transfer, and vastly improving understanding of quantum mechanics, and even get to prove Einstein fears wrong.

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