DTU Fotonik researchers have achieved something incredible. While working with two photons, they have managed to use quantum entanglement to teleport information from one microchip to another. Maybe human teleportation is not so far away!
The Fotonik researchers ignored the tried and tested method of transferring data via information-bearing photons between microchips. They experimented this time by using a pair of quantum-mechanically entangled photons and teleported information from one silicon chip to the next. This was possible because photons in quantum entanglement state know the characteristics of each other at any time. It plays out like a domino effect where any change in the state of one photon launches similar changes in the others.
This change was teleportation, not just the mere transfer of information. The success of this experiment shows how quantum information exchange can be used in the future to develop secure internet connections.
While the future holds many promises, even in the present, we can send secret messages with the help of quantum physics. The technology is just starting out but many companies are already offering equipment for quantum exchange of encrypted keys. But, in such cases, a direct optical fiber link is still required between the two communicating parties. This puts physical limitations on the application of quantum physics.
If users are hundreds of miles away, trusted nodes can be utilized to send secret messages. But this would mean greater expenses, slower connection, and lesser security.
Hence, to solve this problem, the use of quantum entanglement to teleport information will prove helpful. It will increase security and allow a greater number of people to communicate at the same time. And the chip-to-chip teleportation is just the tip of the iceberg!
Four researchers from the Department of Photonics Engineering’s Center for Silicon Photonics for Optical Communications (SPOC) at DTU conducted the study. They collaborated with researchers from Peking Uni, China, and Uni of Bristol, UK. While DTU designed and manufactured the chips, the experiment was carried out in Bristol.
One of the four researchers from DTU, Asst. Prof. Davide Bacco explained, “In our chip, we can produce two photons that are in the entangled quantum state. We can then send one photon one way, and the other way. They then function as a single system, regardless of the distance between them. When you measure one photon, you change the common quantum state and thus determine the state of the other. In this way, we were able to use the entangled photons to transfer information from one chip to another.”
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Image credit: Peter Jurik & University of Bristol