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06 March 2016

German scientists successfully teleport classical information

"Elementary particles, such as electrons and light particles, exist per se in a spatially delocalized state," says Szameit. For these particles, it is with a certain probability, thus, possible to be in different places at the same time. "Within such a system spread across multiple locations, it is possible to transmit information from one location to another without any loss of time." This process is called quantum teleportation and has been known for several years.

The team of scientists, lead by science-fiction fan Szameit, has demonstrated for the first time in an experiment that the concept of teleportation not only persist in the world of quantum particles, but also in our classical world. Szameit and his colleagues report these achievements in the scientific journal Laser & Photonics Reviews (DOI: 10.1002/lpor.201500252).

To entangle properties of light beams

The researchers used a special form of laser beams in the experiment. "As can be done with the physical states of elementary particles, the properties of light beams can also be entangled," explains Marco Ornigotti, a member of Prof. Szameit's team. For physicists, "entanglement" means a sort of codification. "You link the information you would like to transmit to a particular property of the light," clarifies Ornigotti who led the experiments for the study that was now presented.

In their particular case, the physicists have encoded some information in a particular polarization direction of the laser light and have transmitted this information to the shape of the laser beam using teleportation. "With this form of teleportation, we can, however, not bridge any given distance," admits Szameit. "On the contrary, classic teleportation only works locally."