We all know what teleportation is, right? Moving something from one spot to another without it being in the places in between. Well, it turns out that this concept, so familiar to science fiction fans, or at least something similar to it, may have come a small step closer thanks to research by a team
of physicists in the United Kingdom.
Over the past decade, scientists have shown that the powerful connections generated between particles through the quantum law of ‘entanglement’ could allow information to be teleported.
Now, PhD student Sergii Strelchuk from the University of Cambridge, and others, have described a scheme that would make such teleportation more practical and efficient.
In their paper, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers explain that previous teleportation protocols have fallen into one of two categories. Some only send scrambled information requiring correction by the receiver, while more recent “port-based” teleportation schemes don’t require a correction, but need an impractical amount of entanglement, which would destroy the entangled state.
In the new research, physicists provide a theoretical solution in which the entangled state is recycled.
“Teleportation crucially depends on entanglement, which can be thought as a ‘fuel’ powering it,” explains Strelchuk. “This fuel … is hard to generate, store and replenish. Finding a way to use it sparingly, or, ideally, recycling it makes teleportation potentially more usable.”
“We are very excited to show that recycling works in theory, and hope that it will find future applications in areas such as quantum computation,” he says. “Building a quantum computer is one of the great challenges of modern physics, and it is hoped that the new teleportation protocol will lead to advances in this area.”
Various method of teleportation
In fact, the researchers propose two related protocols for teleportation. In the first model, information is teleported sequentially, and in the second it is sent in bulk. “They can be likened to two different ways in which computers perform calculations,” says Strelchuk.
“Sometimes, we need to perform a sequence of arithmetic operations, where each step depends on the previous one, and we must first complete the current task before tackling the next one.”
“However, in some cases all states are available at once and there is no need to waste time teleporting them sequentially and instead they can be teleported altogether.”
Strelchuk says the new teleportation schemes do not require error correction. “We think that teleportation will be most useful in places where error correction may be costly and/or take too much time to perform.”
He says that in addition to the fuel-efficient teleportation protocol, the researchers also found an entire family of other teleportation protocols.
“We expect that some of them will have interesting properties and applications. We hope future work will clarify this, and that some of the protocols will one day be implemented in the lab.”
Originally published on ABC.NET.AU http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/01/21/3672257.htm