Quantum teleportation

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Quantum teleportation, or entanglement-assisted teleportation, is a technique used to transfer quantum information from one quantum system to another. It does not transport the system itself, nor does it allow communication of information at superluminal (faster than light) speed. Neither does it concern rearranging the particles of a macroscopic object to copy the form of another object. Its distinguishing feature is that it can transmit the information present in a quantum superposition, useful for quantum communication and computation.

More precisely, quantum teleportation is a quantum protocol by which a qubit a (the basic unit of quantum information) can be transmitted exactly (in principle) from one location to another. The prerequisites are a conventional communication channel capable of transmitting two classical bits (i.e. one of four states), and an entangled Bell pair (b,c) of qubits, with b at the origin and c at the destination. (So whereas b and c are intimately related, a is entirely independent of them other than being initially colocated with b.) The protocol has three steps: measure a and b jointly to yield two classical bits; transmit the two bits to the other end of the channel (the only potentially time-consuming step, due to speed-of-light considerations); and use the two bits to select one of four ways of recovering c. The upshot of this protocol is to permute the original arrangement ((a,b),c) to ((b′,c′),a), that is, a moves to where c was and the previously separated qubits of the Bell pair turn into a new Bell pair (b′,c′) at the origin.

It has been experimentally shown to work over distances of up to 16 kilometers.[1]


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