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First Teleportation of Multiple Quantum Properties of a Single Photon 107

KentuckyFC writes Photons have many properties, such as their frequency, momentum, spin and orbital angular momentum. But when it comes to quantum teleportation, physicists have only ever been able to to transmit one of these properties at a time. So the possibility of teleporting a complete quantum object has always seemed a distant dream. Now a team of Chinese physicists has worked out how to teleport more than one quantum property. The team has demonstrated it by teleporting both the spin and orbital angular momentum of single photons simultaneously. They point out that there is no reason in principle why the technique cannot be generalized to include other properties as well, such as a photon's frequency, momentum and so on. That's an important step towards teleporting complex quantum objects in their entirety, such as atoms, molecules and perhaps even small viruses.
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First Teleportation of Multiple Quantum Properties of a Single Photon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @09:51AM (#48083115)

    Let's all hope that this knowledge can be used for a noble cause one day.

    Like shaving a few milliseconds off the telecoms links between international stock-exchanges, allowing fortunes to be made for the lucky few via arbitrage!

    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @10:41AM (#48083603)

      It can exist, but virtually every paper I've ever read, especially any that mention optical vorticies confuses Orbital Angular momentum with simple minded othogonal function decompositions of spatial light patterns. Any spatial pattern including this printed page can be written in terms of legendre polynomials or YLMs but that in itself does not give it orbital angular momentum quantum numbers. That's a whole nother ball of wax. To understand the latter you have to puzzle out why you think a half-wave plate (a circular polarizer) is a linear device that doesn't change the frequency of the photon. (after all, for every reversal of polarization, the earth or whatever the device is attached to has to accelerate to absorb the equal and opposite polarization).

    • "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."

  • This is just random musing, but I would love to see a complex camera built using some of these entanglement properties.

    Using entangled photon light sources and multiple CCDs with a single entry aperture and some beam splitters, (So the the multiple CCDs get the exact same entangled photons), I expect some very interesting photography would result.

    I realize that would mean using a laser lightsource, making it unsuitable for photographing people (unless they shut their eyes), but I could definitely see such a

    • I expect some very interesting photography would result.

      Can you elaborate? I lack the knowledge to know what might be interesting about it.

      • Here's an example of such "Interesting" photography.

        http://news.nationalgeographic... []

        Having detectors for the many different properties of the photon, rather than just "IS/isNOT entangled", (which is why there needs to be many CCDs with a single aperture), could reveal a wealth of information about a photographed object.

      • Can you elaborate?

        Depending on when and how you look at the photo afterwards, you would either see Schrödinger's Cat in it blowing a raspberry and flipping a bird . . .

        . . . or you wouldn't.

      • by doggo ( 34827 )

        Porn. He means porn.

        • If by "porn", you mean "Possible realtime recording (in visible light) what the interactions of radio frequency light with soft tissues in the body are", and other radical imaging ideas, then yes. "Porn."

  • Heady stuff (Score:5, Funny)

    by pezpunk ( 205653 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @10:02AM (#48083199) Homepage

    Wow ... just one step closer towards man's ultimate dream of being able to teleport small viruses.

    • by tomxor ( 2379126 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @12:38PM (#48084693)
      If you can teleport something as large as a virus then you can probably also fiddle with the data in between and are probably a substantial way toward arbitrarily assembling various forms of matter (i.e. molecular assembly), at which point you basically have a 3D printer from start treck.
      • What do you mean "data in between"?
        I was given to understand that there is no in between at the quantum level. That it would be an instantaneous event regardless of distance.

  • One step closer to those Heisenberg compensators that Miles and Reg were always trying to fix.

  • into this announcement needs to be drummed out of the industry. Whether it was the researcher or someone along the announcement chain that introduced the mention of transmitting a virus in order to (I have to assume) increase the viewership of the announcement, it is a tactic that does far more harm to science than the reward justifies. Science the world over is being limited far too often by unreasoned fear. Let us at the least not encourage it. But let us also go further than that and make sure that peopl
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're an idiot. The point of transmitting a virus is that it's a relatively large object, a step about molecules in the list "atoms, molecules and maybe even viruses". Any fear of the word "virus" is in your own head.

      • And you're naive. The point could have easily been made with many terms other than one that's top in the news now due to the Ebola scare.
        • The point of teleporting a virus is to see if you can teleport a (nearly) living organism and have it remain viable. It's the obvious next step after molecule and before bacteria or Donald Trump.

          Just because half the world is freaking out over ebola doesn't mean viruses wouldn't be an obvious thing to try or that we should avoid mentioning them.

        • by doggo ( 34827 )

          And if anyone's fear-mongering here, it's you. Besides just being nuts.

      • Teleportation will be a better weapon than nukes. Those not thinking about consequences are horribly short sighted.

        Just watch what the govt/military does once actual atoms can be teleported.

    • Why is the mention of teleporting a virus immediately taken as something bad? I read it and immediately took it to be the next step beyond a simple molecule - a virus can be not much larger than a molecule, but at the same time can be many times more complex and would also demonstrate
        that teleportation wouldn't have any adverse effects on such things as DNA or RNA strands.

      Basically, a virus is the step between a simple molecule and an actual living organism.

      To me it would be the logical step after molecules.

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @10:18AM (#48083327) Homepage Journal
    From single photons, to complete atoms, to complete molecules, to a proof of concept on something that could be called alive (or at least working enough to be able to reproduce in the right environment). Each one of those steps are pretty big jumps in complexity, that may bring their own showstoppers to the party. But probably will give hard numbers to the real impossibility of teleporting humans.
    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      Quantum teleportation dose not any thing anywhere. It copies the quantum state from one particle to another particle. In doing so it destroys the quantum state of the original. So only the quantum state is "teleported". Molecule configuration is not a quantum "state" in this sense. You cannot teleport methanol state onto some hydrogen, carbon and oxygen and get a second methanol molecule.

      Quantum teleportation has nothing to do with the sci fi version of teleportation.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    obligatory xkcd [] strip

  • I imagine that teleportation of complex objects would be a technique that did NOT require gathering data independent of an object. I figure anything transported would either have the "space around it" reassigned -- kind of like a carrier wave, or they would be smashed into a super dense object that had to transfer 100% of the energy to a receiver. Basically, you use the "equal and opposite" properties of physics to guarantee data transmission. However, you may have to jump on another pad if you are uncomfor

    • Or with having the chirality of all of your constituent proteins being backward, and should you desire that you would like to continue eating normal food.

  • unless it is *non-local* then this is just clever re-arrangement of non-teleported light wave (aka photon)

    this research is not what it purports to's not like a "transporter" in Star Trek at all

    here's more on non-locality: []

    • Agreed. Some researchers, apparently to obtain funding, redefine entanglement effects as teleportation. Much cooler sounding.
      • Seriously.
        I am so fucking sick of morons trying to pass of entanglement parlor tricks as full-on, causality-violating teleportation.

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          Yes, THEY"RE the morons, the physicists.
          Certainly it's not you or you lack of understanding, it's them.

          Well aren't you a special rainbow?

          • I'm not special, I'm just not dumb enough to believe entanglement that doesn't actually transfer any information isn't teleportation.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        That's not what's happening.

        But any excuse to bitch about thing you don't understand.

    • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @11:06AM (#48083919)

      this research is not what it purports to's not like a "transporter" in Star Trek at all

      TFS was actually doing pretty well until the last few sentences. What is being "telepored" are "quantum properties", which are nothing at all like classical properties and which are certainly unrelated to "objects".

      The process is "quantum" in the sense that the information is hidden behind the quantum veil of the carrier wave. There is more to quantum phenomena than non-locality, although non-locality is one of the more spectacular ways it manifests.

      Quantum "teleportation" happens to properties. Imagine you have a house of indeterminate colour, and a "colour teleporter" that consists of a beam of light between your house and another house a few miles away that will carry that colour of that house to your house. You turn the "teleporter" on, wait for the beam of light to establish itself, your confederate at the other end aims the "teleporter" at the first house, and your house becomes the colour of the first house at a time L/c later, where L is the distance the light has to travel and c is a well known constant.

      This is a pretty close analogy to what is happening during "quantum teleportation"--and remember, if you stick you hand in the space the information is being "teleported" through you will get a hole burned in it by the perfectly ordinary laser beam that is used to carrying the information.

      To leap from this "colour teleoportation" to the claim that "scientists teleported a house from one neighbourhood to the next" would be clearly and egregiously false, yet that is what discussions of quantum "teleportation" always end up with: people talking as if photons, atoms, molecules and viruses are being carried through space and reconstructed at the other end.

      To see how wrong this is, consider a case where there is actual teleportation vs quantum "teleportation" of an electron to the Moon. In the case of actual teleportation, an important quantum number changes: the count of electrons on the Moon. In the case of quantum "teleportation" the Moon's electron number stays exactly the same. So the two final quantum states are completely different in these two cases. The processes have nothing to do with each other and it is misleading and wrong to talk about them as if they do.

      • good explanation, thanks!

        i understand the concepts, IMHO, but i don't have the background to explain it as well

    • I think the word "teleportation" is being dumbed down in the same way that "cloning" was re-defined to include only what is currently possible, rather than the full sense the word had previously. See also: invisibility [].
  • Thank god this requires more equipment and ability than some freak can cook up in his basement. Imagine teleporting ebola to an enemy nation. If one could release several deadly viruses into an enemies home there would be some assurance of death. HIV, ebola, TB, and Malaria all infested into a home environment with a touch of anthrax and I think we could count on a lethal result. Teleportation gives a whole new meaning to germ warfare.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      You're ancestors must have stood outside the cave bitching about the dangers of fire. I'm pretty sure you exist due to some ancient ancestor managing to get a pity fuck before wondering off away from the 'dangers' of fire.

  • Teleportation of pork fried rice directly into my stomach
  • they aren't teleporting anything. they're cloning. and then killing the poor poor photo.
  • I wonder, could the already know technology be used for faster than light communication ? (quantum state on, state off, state on state on, etc like bits on a wire)

    • by Pro923 ( 1447307 )
      I thought about this. If someday, we had space vehicles that could travel really fast - call it speed:V. We'd send out the vehicle, travelling toward the destination planet at speed V. We'd also send out a comm vehicle at speed V/2. This comm vehicle would always be mid way between the vehicle and the planet. At some time, the comm vehicle would start transmitting entangled photons in both directions. It would take time for the initial connection to be established, but then theoretically, we'd have ph
  • They need to replicate and distribute. Find the idea that they can benefit from their vectors in novels ways will only be of opportunistic value to them.
  • "Teleportation must be invented. If we don't invent teleportation, China will throw nuclear bomb everywhere. Especially now everyone can live forever."

    -- Alex Chiu []

    But what if the Chinese themselves invent teleportation? What then?!

  • by HuguesT ( 84078 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @12:40PM (#48084721)

    The spin of a photon is a boson is always 1. That's not too hard to transmit. Approximately 0 bits are needed. Furthermore, the momentum of a photon is always h\nu, with \nu the frequency. So if you know the frequency of a photon, you also know its momentum, with another 0 bit to transmit. Finally I don't think a photon can have an orbital quantum momentum. Electrons can have those. That is unless things have changed since I last took a class on quantum mechanics.

    In other words the summary is the worst I've seen in a long time.

    • Photon does have angular momentum (you are right, not an orbital one), but that really just the same as "spin" with a helicity, plus or minus h-bar depending on whether right or left-hand polarized We can add energy to your list; If you know frequency, you also know energy and momentum of photon
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      The fact that you describe it as moving bits underscores your ignorance.

      • Howso? Plenty of quantum mechanical properties can be specified in finite number of bits. Polarization of photon can be specified in 1 bit for left or right handed, as example.
  • Explain this to the dumb folks (like me). I thought frequency was a property of a wave, which involves multiple photons. How does a single photon have a "frequency" which I thought denotes at what inteverals multiple photons pass by.
    • by Pro923 ( 1447307 )
      No one _really_ understands it. This has to do with the "duality" of a particle to behave like a wave and a particle at the same time. The famous "dual slit" experiment demonstrates it, and it's more or less the foundation of what quantum physics is based on. Sure, people would answer you and pretend they understand it. But the truth is, no one really does. I saw a scientist on a documentary before admit that - sure everyone understands at some level how magnetism works and what it is. But at the root
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      A question like that indicates you aren't dumb. Ignorant? yes, but then aren't we all?

      A photon can exhibiting properties of both waves and particles. You can also use number states(Fock)

  • I doubt that is possible.
    First, the energy of the photon is related to its frequency. Teleporting that would mean you instantly transfer energy.
    What happens to the original source photon, would it in reverse get the frequency of the target? So at least the law of conversation of energy is honoured?
    Is it even possible to entangle two photons with different frequencies? I'm only aware about entangling experiments where the photon sources are lasers (all photons have the same frequency).

  • .begin gallows humor.

    Great... Right now we have to worry whether Ebola will mutate to be airborne; at which point you wont be able to be the the room with a sick person. In a few years we may have to worry that Ebola will mutate to tranport itself... Then nowhere will be safe.

    .end gallows humor.

    (Yes, I know it doesn't work that way.)

  • Is anyone else thinking "quantum object oriented programming"?

If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.