A team of Dutch scientists just announced a new method of quantum teleportation that uses entanglement as a form of communication. They can successfully teleport data over a distance of ten feet. But, more importantly, they can also do so with 100 percent reliability.
The feat in and of itself isn't such a big breakthrough. Quantum teleportation is not a new thing. In fact, scientists have been doing it for years and for distances of up to 100 kilometers. The 100 percent reliability part of it, though, is a big deal. This brings us one step closer to a real, bonafide quantum computer. Or at least, in the words of the lab's press release, it's "an important step towards a quantum network for communication between future ultra-fast quantum computers—a quantum internet."
That sounds pretty cool! But wait 'til you hear how they do it. The researchers actually trapped electrons inside of diamonds at extremely low temperatures and then zapped them with lasers, producing quantum bits (a.k.a. qubits) that can describe many values. The diamonds act as "mini prisons" for the electrons, they said, and enabled them to create a spin for the electrons and read it back accurately. Through entanglement, they effectively transported data between the qubits over a distance of ten feet with 100 percent accuracy. Next, they plan on doing it over a distance of a little less than a mile.
The Dutch team just published a paper about the new method in Science, but the party is just getting excited. If they're able to scale this method, we'll be breaking through the next frontier in computing, introducing a new standard of speed and power never before seen. We won't be transporting our crew members onto the surfaces of far off planets, like in Star Trek. But at least the internet will be really freaking fast. [Science via NYT]