The scientists have teleported photons across a distance of 63 miles (102 kilometres), four times the previously held record. This Quantum Teleportation research could lead to a “quantum Internet” that could build the base for the next-gen encryption.
A new distance record has been established, relaying the quantum data through fibres by breaking the previous record for quantum teleportation. This act of transferring data to a different reminds me instantly of Star Trek where objects were teleported without moving it through space.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) involved the transportation of quantum of information contained in one photon to another photon over a 102 km distance to an NIST laboratory in Colorado.
Data carrying photons were considered unsuitable for long distance communication as during a standard trip over a distance in an optical fiber, 99 percent of photons never complete the trip. But, this time, a single photon carrying quantum data completed such long distance with the help of newer detectors.
“Only about 1 percent of photons make it all the way through 100 km of fiber,” NIST’s Marty Stevens says. “We never could have done this experiment without these new detectors, which can measure this incredibly weak signal.”
The new detectors use superconducting nanowires made using molybdenum silicide and it can detect more than 80 percent of arriving photons. This experiment was performed at wavelengths commonly used in telecommunications, so a quantum internet should be arriving soon.
Quantum internet is a new kind of internet that would be slower, but more secure. The scientists can encode the quantum states of an object onto light particles and broadcast it over long distances. These quantum states then would be used to decode the information and use it further.
The developments in this field would be an interesting thing to observe as it could result into an ultra-secure internet in the coming years.
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