Scientists used quantum entanglement to instantly transfer data between two chips
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Computers have gotten faster and faster with each passing year, but there will always be limits to how fast information can be transferred. That is, until now. Multiple researchers have claimed to “teleport” data between two computer chips instantaneously.
The researchers claim that by using quantum entanglement, they were able to transfer data by measuring the change in two entangled photons located in two different pieces of silicon. While this is a small step, it is a bold claim that could lead to a new revolution in computer science and computational hardware.
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon observed at the quantum level (think electrons, protons, and photons). When quantum particles are entangled, their states mirror each other regardless of their position in space. Essentially, if the state of one particle changes, the state of the corresponding entangled particle changes as well. This change happens instantaneously, regardless of distance.
The phenomenon is not yet fully understood, and aspects of it seem to contradict long-held laws of physics. Namely, it is widely held that the speed of light is the absolute fastest that anything, including quantum particles or information, can travel. Quantum entanglement seemingly violates this “speed limit,” as the changes in state between two entangled particles happen instantly no matter how far apart the particles are.
The researchers were able to transmit data by measuring the states of entangled particles located on separate chips. In their testing, the researchers observed that data was transferred with 91% fidelity, so there’s a bit of room for minimizing the data lost in the transfer. Additionally, once the particles were observed, their quantum entanglement collapsed. This could possibly mean that a single quantum link could only be used to transfer data once, which could limit its usefulness.
Despite these shortcomings, the successful transfer of computational information via quantum entanglement may be akin to the first orbit around the Earth. Quantum computing is still in its infancy, but each tiny step opens the door to an exciting world that perhaps none of us can imagine.