Researchers have achieved a breakthrough in quantum communications and computing using a teleporter and a paradoxical cat. The breakthrough is the first-ever transfer, or teleportation, of a particular complex set of quantum information from one point to another, opening the way for high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via quantum communications networks.
The research was published in the April edition of the journal Science. Teleportation – the transfer of quantum information from one location to another using normal, “classical” communications – is one of the fundamental quantum communication techniques.
The cat in the equation was not a living, breathing feline but rather “wave packets” of light representing the famous “thought experiment” known as Schrodinger’s Cat. Schrodinger’s Cat was a paradox proposed by early 20th century physicist Erwin Schrodinger to describe the situation in which normal, “classical” objects can exist in a quantum “superposition” – having two states at once.
Professor Elanor Huntington, in the School of Engineering and Information Technology at UNSWs Canberra campus at the Australian Defence Force Academy ADFA, was part of a team led by University of Tokyo researchers. She said the team’s achievement was another step towards building a super-powerful quantum computer and transmitting quantum information.