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Researchers Teleport Quantum Information Between Gas Clouds

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Jun 07, 2013 08:05 AM EDT
glass containers, each containing a cloud of billions of caesium gas atoms.
There are two glass containers, each containing a cloud of billions of caesium gas atoms. Both glass containers are enclosed in a chamber with a magnetic field. The two glass containers are not connected to each other, but information is teleported from the one glass cloud to the other by means of laser light. Source - Niels Bohr Institute (Photo : Niels Bohr Institute )

Researchers have, for the first time, succeeded in teleporting information between two clouds of gas atoms.

The study was conducted by research group from Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen in the basement under the Institute.

The experiment was conducted clouds of cesium gas atoms. These gas clouds are enclosed in glass containers. The two containers aren't connected but, the information is teleported from one gas cloud to another by a laser light which is sent into the first container. Here, the gas and light become entangled, forming a "quantum link".

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The "quantum information' in this study was the direction of the outermost electrons in the atoms when the atoms are hit by laser light of a specific wavelength. The direction is either up or down and is similar to the computer information that's made of 0s and 1s.

In the study, one of the gas containers was subjected to this laser light that then became the source of quantum information. This gas cloud emitted photons (light particles) that had the quantum information. The light then reached the other container, where it was picked-up by a detector.

The signal from this detector was then sent back to the first container where the electrons of the atoms aligned themselves according to the signals.

One problem with study was that, since the experiment was carried out at room temperature, the atoms were moving at speed of 200 meters per second in the glass container and as consequence, were colliding with the walls of the container. These collisions resulted in the atoms losing the information.

"We use a coating of a kind of paraffin on the interior of the glass contains and it causes the gas atoms to not lose their coding, even if they bump into the glass wall," explained Eugene Polzik, professor and head of the research center Quantop at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen in a news release.

The range of the information teleportation was about half a meter (a little over 19 inches). Researchers are hopeful that quantum information can be teleported over large distances.

"We could increase the range if we had the space and, in principle, we could teleport information, for example, to a satellite," Eugene Polzik concluded.

The study is published in the journal Nature Physics.                

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