Teleportation, or the transmission of quantum information from one location to another, is possible in theory but hard to achieve in practice. Perhaps the biggest implication of achieving teleportation would be light speed communication (and maybe even faster than lightspeed).
Contrary to popular belief, teleportation has already been achieved.
In 1993, Bennett et al. successfully performed quantum teleportation with photons.
Then, in 2015, the Quantum Nonlocality Phenomenon was reported.
Now, the latest development in teleportation comes from a team of physicists who have successfully teleported a photon over a distance of six kilometers.
The team, led by Wolfgang Tittel, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary, are working toward the goal of creating a quantum internet that is lightning fast, making it just as secure. Quantum communication via quantum teleportation is based on photons or the fundamental particles that make up light. Light-based communication is not new and is currently used commonly in the form of fiber optic cables. Quantum mechanics, however, stand to actually teleport information instead of just transferring information at high speeds like fiber optic technology does.
Quantum Buddy System
The Principle of Quantum Entanglement is the basis for the team’s success. The principle ensures that when two photons are entangled, they will have the same properties no matter the distance between them. This joint behavior can, therefore, be used to essentially create teleportation.
Using two entangled photons, the team of researchers sent one photon over a distance of one kilometer. The teleported photon was then generated in a third location before returning to the original location, covering a distance of six kilometers in total. Overall, the team found that the teleportation that they achieved is nearly instantaneous.
Beam me up: Quantum Teleportation Possible
Most immediately, these latest findings have gotten us one step closer to a quantum Internet where almost instantaneous speeds will encourage incredibly secure connections and virtually unbreakable data encryption.
This quantum technology also has possible applications medical applications in that it could allow physicians to scan patients without exposing them to harmful radiation.
The team’s findings also mean that in the not-too-distant future, we may be able to “Energize” on over to a friend’s place, to work, to the other side of the planet, or to the other side of the universe.