Saturday science subject: Quantum teleportation

— 6:15 PM on October 7, 2006

A team of Danish physicists have made a breakthrough in the field of quantum teleportation. The physicists, led by Professor Eugene Polzik at the University of Copenhagen, successfully teleported information from light to matter across a distance of 50 cm.

The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further.

"Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams, but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained. "Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement," he added.

Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.

While this achievement may not herald a future where human beings can be teleported, the physicists say the technology could help quantum computing and communication. "It is really about teleporting information from one site to another site," says Eugene Polzik. "Quantum information is different from classical information in the sense that it cannot be measured. It has much higher information capacity and it cannot be eavesdropped on. The transmission of quantum information can be made unconditionally secure."
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