Monday, April 18, 2011
BEAM ME UP! WE ALMOST HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY
UK Steve sent us this vital story because we both love this kind if thing.
“The mind-bending project, led by Noriyuki Lee at the University of Tokyo, could lead to the creation of super-powerful quantum computers and revolutionise the telecommunications industry. The team managed to teleport wave packets of light by destroying them in one place and re-creating them in another. It's an incredible process that means transmitting large volumes of complex quantum information could be quicker than is currently possible. The quantum physics term behind this experiment is 'entanglement'. It means that two particles can be bonded in such a way that even when separated by large distances, they are still linked. So what happens to one affects the other. The team linked packets of light to half a pair of entangled particles. They destroyed one of the particles and the light itself, leaving just one remaining particle. This particle still contained detailed information about the light which they could then use to rebuild the original particle. The process involves 'Schrodinger's cat'. Unfortunately it's not a real feline, but a hypothetical experiment first carried out in the 1935. Schrödinger envisioned in a cat in a sealed box with a small amount of radioactive material and a Geiger counter measuring radiation. If the atom decayed the counter would release cyanide into the box and kill the cat. According to quantum mechanics, the cat is neither dead nor alive. Until someone opens the box both possibilities exist. It's supposed to illustrate how in quantum mechanics particles can exist in suspended states of multiple possibilities. The team at the University of Tokyo were able to put the light wave in a 'Schrödinger's cat' state with the help of a machine simply called 'The Teleporter', and make it have two opposite phases at the same time. Professor Elanor Huntington, who was part of the research team, told ABC News: "What we've done is take a macroscopic beam of light and put it into a quantum superposition, which is extremely fragile, and teleported that from one place to another." Doing this demonstrates that - for the first time - blocks of complex quantum information can now be carried by light. "If we can do this, we can do just about any form of communication needed for any quantum technology," she said. Unfortunately the breakthrough doesn't mean we'll ever be able to transport human beings, Star Trek style. At present even bacteria is far too complex to be transported.” Written by Orlando Parfitt"
Posted by Mick at 4/18/2011 07:56:00 AM