• The discovery could pave the way to build technology to redefine global communication in the upcoming years.

Quantum teleportation

Teleportation is a part of science fiction, but researchers are working on teleportation in the real world. Scientists are researching quantum teleportation that can lead to creating a highly secure and high-speed quantum internet.

Cooperative research

The research was cooperatively conducted by scientists from the Fermi Lab (the US Department of Energy national laboratory affiliated with Chicago University), the University of Calgary in Canada, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Harvard University, Caltech, and AT&T.

A group of scientists from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and other five institutions says that they have achieved long-distance quantum teleportation with data accuracy (fidelity) greater than 90%. As per scientists, they could teleport high fidelity quantum information over a total distance of about 44 kilometers (27 miles).

Scientists say: “This is the first time they’ve been able to transmit quantum data over such a long distance with accuracy; there are years of work ahead to make a city-sized quantum network possible. Research into quantum teleportation has been conducted for years.”

Qubits were able to teleport

Qubits made of photons could teleport over a fiber-optic network utilizing state-of-the-art low noise superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors and off-the-shelf optical equipment. This is the first time researchers have demonstrated photons’ teleportation with high accuracy over such a long distance.

The team of scientists successfully achieved qubit teleportation on two systems:

  • Caltech Quantum Network
  • Fermilab Quantum Network

These two systems were designed and deployed by Caltech’s public-private research program on Intelligent Quantum Networks and Technologies (IN-Q-NET).

The technology reflects data from one location to another location instantly. Sending each qubit across 44 kilometers of fiber set a new limit on how far researchers could send entangled qubits and successfully use them to teleport quantum information.

Panagiotis Spentzouris, Senior Scientist, Head Quantum Science Program at Fermilab, commented: “With this demonstration, we’re beginning to lay the foundation for the construction of a Chicago-area metropolitan quantum network.”

She further added, “This is a key achievement on the way to building a technology that will redefine how we conduct global communication.”

Maria Spiropulu, Physics Professor at Caltech’s PMA, commented: “We are very proud to have achieved this milestone on sustainable, high-performing and scalable quantum teleportation systems.”

She further added, “The results will be further improved with system upgrades we are expecting to complete by the second quarter of 2021.”

Secured systems than traditional networks

Quantum communication systems are believed to be more secure than traditional networks. This is because they rely on photons’ quantum properties rather than computer code that hackers could crack. However, such systems are expensive and complex to make.

An international research team, led by the scientists at the University of Bristol, claims: “They had developed a prototype city-wide quantum network, which could be used to send completely secure and unhackable messages over the internet.”

Researchers further added, “Their prototype is the largest-ever quantum network of its kind, with the potential to serve millions of people by enabling them to share encryption keys for their messages. Quantum communication systems are considered more secure than conventional networks as they rely on photons’ quantum properties rather than computer code that can be cracked by hackers. However, such systems are very complex and expensive to make.”

Last year, the Chinese research team claimed that it had smashed the earlier record for maintaining two quantum memories in an entangled state at maximum distance.