You’re not going to teleport anywhere — the application has been proven impossible. For data, though, teleportation is real, and Researchers at TU Delft’s Kavli Institute of Nanoscience have accomplished the feat. A team there has sent one quantum bit of information three meters, all without having actually traveled through the space between the two points.
Actual quantum teleportation isn’t new — scientists have been toying with it for some time. The neat twist here is that the information in the transferred quantum bit — which is essentially a gigabit, just quantum — had no degradation. There was no loss of data, and the transfer was 100% reliable.
This breakthrough is a step toward an Internet free of landlines and data transfer rates. By offering up true, teleported info, we edge closer to a quantum Internet.
But how? By making use of entanglement, a physics theory pioneered by Einstein himself. According to Professor Ronald Hanson, “When two particles become entangled, their identities merge: their collective state is precisely determined but the individual identity of each of the particles has disappeared. The entangled particles behave as one, even when separated by a large distance. The distance in our tests was three meters, but in theory the particles could be on either side of the universe.”
To make entanglement work Hanson and his team used diamonds:
We use diamonds because ‘mini prisons’ for electrons are formed in this material whenever a nitrogen atom is located in the position of one of the carbon atoms. The fact that we’re able to view these miniature prisons individually makes it possible for us to study and verify an individual electron and even a single atomic nucleus. We’re able to set the spin (rotational direction) of these particles in a predetermined state, verify this spin and subsequently read out the data. We do all this in a material that can be used to make chips out of. This is important as many believe that only chip-based systems can be scaled up to a practical technology
Using diamonds to trap energy, the team used a theory of quantum entanglement to create a paradox that efficiently and reliably transferred information. The experiments will continue, with the team expanding the scope of transfer further and further.