Researchers just teleported information over 100 km in optical fiber. The previous record was just 15 miles, set by NASA.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have “teleported,” transferred, quantum information carried in light particles through optical fiber, over 100 kilometers (km), four times farther than the previous record.
The experiment confirmed that quantum communication is feasible over long distances in fiber.
Not to be confused with Star Trek’s fictional “beaming up” of people, quantum teleportation involves the transfer, or remote reconstruction, of information encoded in quantum states of matter or light. Teleportation is useful in both quantum communications and quantum computing, which offer prospects for novel capabilities such as unbreakable encryption and advanced code-breaking, respectively. The basic method for quantum teleportation was first proposed more than 20 years ago and has been performed by a number of research groups, including one at NIST using atoms in 2004.
NIST’s Marty Stevens, said:
“Only about 1 percent of photons make it all the way through 100 km of fiber. We never could have done this experiment without these new detectors, which can measure this incredibly weak signal.”
The new NTT/NIST teleportation technique could be used to make devices called quantum repeaters that could resend data periodically in order to extend network reach, perhaps enough to eventually build a “quantum internet.”
This graphic describes how researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have “teleported” or transferred quantum information carried in light particles over 100 kilometers (km) of optical fiber, four times farther than the previous record. Credit: K. Irvine/NIST