Stanford University researchers have set the quantum record by using photons to carry messages from electrons nearly 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles) apart across fiber optic cables, effectively furthering our understanding of how to send "entangled particles" across longer distances, according to a press release.
The paper explores quantum entanglement, which is when two or more particles are connected over long distances through the spin of their electrons. Although these particles cannot communicate directly due to the fact that they are harbored inside of atoms, photons can, meaning they can be harnessed as messengers for the electrons' spin.
"Electron spin is the basic unit of a quantum computer," said Leo Yu, lead author of the study. "This work can pave the way for future quantum networks that can send highly secure data around the world."
The findings advance our knowledge of "entangled particles," and scientists hope to use it for practical applications, including the development of quantum networks that can send highly secure information in military and bank environments. Quantum supercomputers and internet networks would be much faster than current technology and would be immune to hacking and spying.
"Essential to the quantum internet is establishing entanglement between remote quantum nodes, which is practically realized by extending spin-photon entanglement using indistinguishable photons," the researchers wrote. "Once entanglement is established, information can be transferred between the nodes using quantum teleportation."
Quantum teleportation refers to the transmitting of quantum object states to other areas instantaneously, essentially recreating the object in another space in time, as previously reported by HNGN, and would help in the development of more secure internet networks.