Dec. 31 (UPI) — For the first time, scientists successfully demonstrated sustained, long-distance teleportation of quantum information.
The breakthrough, described this month in the journal PRX Quantum, suggests a viable quantum internet could soon be a reality.
“Quantum teleportation is essential for many quantum information technologies, including long-distance quantum networks,” according to the study’s authors.
Quantum teleportation is made possible by the quantum phenomenon known as entanglement, which describes two inextricably linked particles, whereby the measure or manipulation of one particle is observed in the other, regardless of time or location.
In the first-of-its-kind demonstration, researchers at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory affiliated with the University of Chicago, successfully teleported quantum information, or qubits, over a fiber-optic network stretching 27 miles.
Researchers actually tested their quantum teleportation technology on two different networks: the Caltech Quantum Network and the Fermilab Quantum Network.
During their trips across the two networks, built using a combination of commercial equipment and state-of-the-art single-photon detectors, the teleported photon particles maintained their fidelity at a rate of 90 percent.
“We’re thrilled by these results,” said study co-author Panagiotis Spentzouris.
“This is a key achievement on the way to building a technology that will redefine how we conduct global communication,” said Spentzouris, head of the Fermilab quantum science program.
Both networks are compatible with current telecommunication infrastructure, as well as with emerging quantum data processing and storage technologies.
Scientists all over the world have achieved several quantum technology breakthroughs in 2020.
Among those breakthroughs were the enhancement of quantum state stability, the teleportation of quantum information across a four-mile cable and the quantum entanglement of 15 trillion atoms.
In China, researchers achieved “quantum supremacy” using a new computer, and also sent quantum information to space.
Researchers suggest the breakthrough at Fermilab sets the stage for the construction of a more expansive quantum information network across the greater Chicago area, the Illinois Express Quantum Network.
“The feat is a testament to success of collaboration across disciplines and institutions, which drives so much of what we accomplish in science,” said Joe Lykken, deputy director of research at Fermilab.
“I commend the IN-Q-NET team and our partners in academia and industry on this first-of-its-kind achievement in quantum teleportation,” Lykken said.