Tuesday, April 12, 2011

China Builds Teleporter!

That got your attention, didn't it? Well, it's true, just probably not what you're thinking. For a while I've been droning on about quantum superposition and how something is in all possible states at once until it's measured. Well, here's a direct application - that's what quantum teleportation is based off of.

I originally found this article from Time magazine while searching for information about what China has been doing in the field of quantum mechanics. China has successfully transported information at a distance of 16 km at light speed.  This is the largest distance that quantum information has been transmitted. Surely an impressive feat, and the Chinese appear to be best at it right now. What's the application? Well, China wants to use this technology for secure light speed communications. Now, thanks to the laws of quantum mechanics, this information is tamper proof. If someone intercepted the stream, the Chinese would know about it, thus making it a secure form of communication. Currently, this quantum teleportation has only 89% fidelity at this distance, making it shaky at best for communication purposes, but it's certainly a start.

You may be asking, can we do this with matter?  In a manner of speaking, it has. This article discusses a state of an atom being transported to another atom 3 feet away. This is certainly far from what a Star Trek transporter can do, and it's doubtful that we'll ever be able to have that ability, but it's cool none the less and definitely shows what an achievement the Chinese have made.

This technology is being researched and funded by the Chinese military, so it's natural to wonder: does this give them an advantage over other countries? How far is the USA from such achievements? Will the USA catch up? I do not know the answers to these questions.

1 comment:

  1. A nice post--I like how you mix up your more technical posts with the newsy posts. And, as always, this is fairly mind-blowing.