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Spooky memory at a distance with quantum teleportation

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Geplaatst op 27 januari 2009 - 04:20

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The past several years have seen a number of advances towards the goal of creating a scalable quantum computer. Because quantum objects can be in a number of states simultaneously, these computers could sample a large solution space in an instant, providing solutions to certain problems that are currently very computationally expensive. But it's not simply enough to have something that can perform quantum computations; the other parts of a traditional computer, such as memory and communication busses will also be needed. Researchers have now demonstrated the teleportation of quantum states between two ions that are a meter apart, a development that has applications in both quantum computing and communications.

Teleportation, from a quantum perspective, doesn't mean the same thing as it does to everyone who immediately thinks of Star Trek's transporters. In general, it involves two entangled quantum objects, a sender and a receiver, and the quantum state of the former is sent to the latter. A measurement can be performed on the sender that, thanks to the entanglement, changes the state of the receiver. The results of the measurement of the sender can then be used to manipulate the receiver, placing it into the same state as the sender.

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