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Scientists used quantum entanglement to instantly transfer data between two chips

Star Trek's subspace communication could be a reality, thanks to quantum entanglement. (Image via Away Mission)
Star Trek's subspace communication could be a reality, thanks to quantum entanglement. (Image via Away Mission)
In a paper recently published in Nature magazine, researchers claim to have transferred data using the measurement of the states of quantum particles that are connected via quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is the physical phenomenon in which two entangled particles instantly reflect a change in the state of either; should one particle change its state, the other particle with which it is entangled instantly changes its state to match its partner's. As such, data transfers using quantum entanglement could occur faster than light, though there are some roadblocks.

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.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 12 > Scientists used quantum entanglement to instantly transfer data between two chips
Sam Medley, 2019-12-30 (Update: 2019-12-30)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.