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Taming photons, electrons paves way for quantum internet

Advances in teleportation, entanglement memory improve prospects for ultrasecure communicating

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2:13pm, September 19, 2016
illustration of global network

QUANTUM LINKS  Scientists are working to create a global quantum internet, which would allow secure communications worldwide. At a recent meeting, scientists described new developments in quantum teleportation and other technologies.

WASHINGTON — A quantum internet could one day allow ultrasecure communications worldwide — but first, scientists must learn to tame unruly quantum particles such as electrons and photons. Several new developments in quantum technology, discussed at a recent meeting, have brought scientists closer to such mastery. Scientists are now teleporting particles’ properties across cities, satellite experiments are gearing up for quantum communications in space, and other scientists are developing ways to hold quantum information in memory.

In one feat, scientists achieved quantum teleportation across long distances through metropolitan areas. Quantum teleportation transfers quantum properties of one particle to another instantaneously. (It doesn’t allow for faster-than-light communication, though, because additional information has to be sent through standard channels.)

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