Physicists Teleport Information Over Electronic Circuit: Quantum Physics

First Posted: Aug 15, 2013 08:51 AM EDT

Teleporting mass is something that you may only see in a science fiction movie. Teleporting information, though, is a completely different matter. For the first time, scientists have managed to teleport information in an electronic circuit, similar to a computer chip.

So what did the researchers actually do? They teleported information in a so-called solid state system. More specifically, they transported information across a distance of about six millimeters, from one corner of a chip to the opposite one. This feat was possible without transporting the physical object carrying the information itself from the sender's to the receiver's corner.

So how exactly did they manage it? The scientists used a device similar to a conventional computer chip. Unlike a regular chip, the information was not stored and processed based on the laws of classical physics. Instead, it employed those of quantum physics. The scientists created an entangled state between the sender and the receiver. Entanglement is essentially a link between the two parties which exploits the laws of quantum physics.

"Usually, in telecommunication information is transmitted by electromagnetic pulses," said Andreas Wallraff, one of the researchers, in a news release. "In mobile communications, for example, microwave pulses are used, while in fiber connections it is optical pulses." This new method, though, does not transport the information carrier. Instead, it only transmits the information.

While six millimeters may not seem like a large distance, it does pave the way for future experimentation. In addition, this latest study teleported information using superconducting electronic circuits--a system that's far different from the optical systems that researchers usually use to transmit information.

"This is interesting, because such circuits are an important element for the construction of future quantum computers," said Wallraff in a news release.

If the scientists can improve and perfect the system, it will be faster than most previous teleportation system. In fact, approximately 10,000 quantum bits can be teleported per second, a huge leg up.

"Teleportation is an important future technology in the field of quantum information processing," said Wallraff.

Currently, the researchers plan to increase the distance between sender and receiver in their device. In addition, they will try to teleport information from one chip to another. They hope to one day achieve distances similar to optical systems, which could have huge implications for transporting information in the future.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

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