Guinness Book of Teleportation

by wjw on May 25, 2012

I bet you didn’t even know there was a World Teleportation Record.  Let alone that it’s just been broken.

A group of European scientists have just teleported photons 142 kilometers, between the Canary Islands of Tenerife and La Palma.  This breaks a Chinese record of 100 km set just a few weeks ago.

This demonstration of quantum teleportation, aside from showing just how bizarre modern physics has become, is a big step toward setting up entanglement-assisted communications satellites, which would provide a highly-secure form of communication.  (And maybe ansibles, way the hell down the road.)

Note that the race is between Europeans and Chinese.  The United States, apparently, is happy to continue to send its vital messages within the current insecure, hacker-ridden, spam-clogged communications arteries we have now.

Erich Schneider May 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Sadly, this won’t give us ansibles, because decoherence of a qubit is a random process. There’s no way to force one to collapse as a zero or a one, so the process can’t be used to transmit information. That’s why a classical (speed-of-light) communication channel is needed as well.

It does allow secure transmission of a sequence of random numbers, though, which is why it works for cryptography.

DensityDuck May 26, 2012 at 6:49 am

Walter, if you think that we shouldn’t give so much money to retired firefighters and single mothers, then why don’t you just move to Somalia?

The reason we aren’t putting money into quantum computing research is that we generally spend the money on other things. The biggest chunk of government spending is social programs. The next biggest chunk is the military, which (through DARPA) is where funding for stuff like quantum computing comes from.

wjw May 27, 2012 at 7:14 am

My suspicions are that bouncing photons around costs less than social welfare programs, but then I haven’t seen the figures.

I’m deeply saddened that we don’t get ansibles, and even more saddened that I’ve been totally misled by science fiction writers who use this method. If you can’t trust SF writers to tell the truth, who can you trust?

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