Teleportation is still a matter of science fiction. But research is beginning to investigate its application for data transmission. The teleportation of quantum data would avoid losses in certain communication channels. This is being investigated by the Center for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University.
There is an inherent loss that occurs in all communication channels (e.g., Internet or telephone). A mechanism was discovered that can reduce that loss. The finding is described in Nature Communications. It is an important step towards the implementation of “quantum internet”. It will bring unprecedented capabilities that cannot be accessed with the current web.
Dr. Sergei Slussarenko of Griffith University said in a statement. He demonstrated an error reduction method that improved the performance of a channel.
“First, we looked at the raw data transmitted through our channel. We were able to see a better signal with our method than without it. In our experiment, we first sent a photon through the loss. This photon does not carry any useful information, so losing it was not a big problem. We used a device called a silent linear amplifier developed at Griffith and the University of Queensland. It can recover the lost quantum state.”
The quantum network
Quantum technologies promise revolutionary changes in our information-based society. Quantum communication would transmit data in an extremely secure manner. Access by a third party would be impossible.
“Short-distance quantum encryption is already in commercial use. But we want to implement a global quantum network. Currently photon loss is an unavoidable problem,” Slussarenko said.
“Our work implements the so-called quantum relay. It is a key ingredient of this long-distance communication network.”
The no-cloning theorem forbids making copies of unknown quantum data. What happens if a photon carrying information is lost? The information it was carrying disappears forever.
Quantum data teleportation is underway, what’s the next step? Test the method using a real-life optical infrastructure. Such as those used for fiber-based Internet.