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Teleporting images using only light may soon become a reality

Teleporting images using only light may soon become a reality

A group of researchers has managed to get closer to transmitting images using only light. A pair of entangled photons carrying information was “transferred” from one point to another.

For those in a hurry:

  • The quantum state of an entangled photon is immediately affected when another particle is measured, even over long distances;
  • This allows information to be included in photons and transmitted securely;
  • The technology isn't exactly instantaneous transmission, but the researchers suggest that with improvement, it could be the case in the future.

The study was conducted by researchers from South Africa, Spain and Germany and was recently published in the journal Nature Communications. In the research, a process was used that can allow data to be transmitted securely, i.e. without being stolen.

Traditionally, two communicating parties send information back and forth, even in the quantum domain. Now, it's possible to transmit information instantaneously so that it's not actually transmitted over a wire – Star Trek technology has become real.

In response, Andrew Forbes, a physicist involved in the study Science Alert

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Entangled photons and teleportation

This technology can transmit states of light and form images using quantum entangled photons. These particles remain connected and the state of one provides information about the other, even if they are separated by long distances.

In the study, it was possible to include much more information in photons than usual, which allowed images to be encrypted.

Measuring certain properties in one particle directly affects the properties of another particle, conveying its quantum state and creating a useful watermark for data transmission. Thus, this technique is not exactly a standard teleportation, because the information is not physically transferred.

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To perfect this technique, the research team still needs to work further on a nonlinear detector so it can handle the additional capacity of entangled photons and ensure that information is accurately transmitted from one point to another.

In this way, perhaps in the future, it will be the instantaneous transfer of information that will provide a more secure way to share data.