A Tokyo-based research team has succeeded in teleporting a beam of light without losing any data for the first time.
The machine that achieved the feat, known as the teleporter, provided the breakthrough in quantum communications with the first-ever transfer, or teleportation, of a particularly complex set of quantum information with no loss of integrity.
Similar devices have been able to transfer data over considerable distances, many kilometres in some cases, but have always suffered from data loss.
Professor Elanor Huntington, from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), claims that by transferring the information from one point to another, the breakthrough opens the door to high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via quantum communications networks.
According to the University of New South Wales
, Huntington claims that 'one of the limitations of high-speed quantum communication at present is that some detail is lost during the teleportation process.'
She describes it as 'the Star Trek equivalent of beaming the crew down to a planet and having their organs disappear or materialise in the wrong place. We’re talking about information but the principle is the same – it allows us to guarantee the integrity of transmission.
'Just about any quantum technology relies on quantum teleportation. The value of this discovery is that it allows us, for the first time, to quickly and reliably move quantum information around. This information can be carried by light, and it’s a powerful way to represent and process information. Previous attempts to transmit were either very slow or the information might be changed. This process means we will be able to move blocks of quantum information around within a computer or across a network, just as we do now with existing computer technologies.'
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