Beam Me Up Scotty, Quantum Teleportation Has Been Achieved

Beam me up, Scotty. Scientists have recently announced that they have achieved complex quantum teleportation. Multidimensional teleportation could have a strong impact on quantum computing and communication.

Researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, University of Vienna, and University of Science and Technology of China successfully teleported a three-dimensional quantum state. They were able to teleport the quantum state of a photon or light particle to another. Scientists have theorized that this kind of transportation is possible since the 1990s, but have not been able to prove it.

photon waves

Teleportation does not transport matter, but instead moves quantum information. The scientists were able to transfer quantum information from one photon to another by manipulating a multiport beam splitter. Multiport beam splitters typically direct photons without altering their degrees of freedom. The scientists also added “auxiliary photons” to interfere with the other photons. They were then able to create an interference pattern to transport quantum information. Theoretically, the concept could be used to teleport other multidimensional states.

Until recently, scientists had only been able to teleport quantum bits or “qubits”. Quantum bits are basic units of quantum information. These particles are able to be in two states at once. The scientists from Austria and China were able to teleport a “qutrit. A qutrit is a particle that can be in three states at once or a “quantum system described by a superposition of three mutually orthogonal quantum states”. The scientists are now working on teleporting larger quantum systems.

Multidimensional quantum teleportation could have a major effect on quantum computing. Ciarán Lee, from University College London, remarked, “The higher the dimensions of your quantum system, the more secure you can ensure your communication is and the more information you can encode.” At the moment, both analog and digital quantum computers maintain and rely on sequences of qubits. Qutrits could take computing and communication to the next level.

Scientists also recently created a permanent magnetic cooling system for quantum computers. They are the first to use magnetic cooling to achieve temperatures close to absolute zero (-273C). Scientists have previously relied on helium-3, but magnetic cooling is far less expensive.

Photon waves. Image from Maksim via Wikimedia Commons