In a collaborative effort by researchers from Caltech, Fermilab and NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory, a new groundbreaking experiment has been conducted. While scientists have always toyed with the idea that information could travel faster than light; with this experiment it might end up being proved. This is the first time that quantum teleportation has been conducted. It involves the transfer of qubits- the tiniest unit of quantum information over a distance of 27 miles. If these experiments are to accelerate further; we could be looking at a huge change in global communication.
How does quantum teleportation work?
Qubits are the tiniest unit of quantum information. Quantum particles transfer information by a process known as entanglement. This typically happens when the particles have been in physical contact with each other. According to the laws of quantum physics, two entangled particles will be affected by each other’s actions even if separated by huge distances. Particles can be entangled by certain mechanisms; for instance, shooting a laser beam through a certain kind of crystal.
The experiment was conducted by building a special kind of system between two labs; Caltech and Fermilab separated by a distance of 27 miles. The experiment reported with a 90% fidelity rate. ‘Fidelity’ is a term used to denote how close the message received was to the original message. Researchers are celebrating the results and consider it a huge success with immense potential.
What it could mean for the internet’s future
Quantum Internet could massively change how information is stored, processed and transmitted in the current day and age. They are expected to be faster and more secure than the current web scenario. Since quantum communication uses photons over computer codes, it cannot be hacked. The current aim is to be able create a secure network between laboratories for them to send information to each other. Quantum technology could increase the speed of the world’s best super computers by over 100 trillion times.
This message has been very well received by people all over social media. Some even jokingly asked if they should sign up for a quantum internet provider. Researchers still have a long way to go before it quantum internet becomes a reality. But this experiment is nothing short of a huge breakthrough.