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Towards a Quantum Repeater

Here's an important development:

...(S)cientists from the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have proposed a scheme to transfer the quantum state of a pulse of light onto a set of atoms and have demonstrated it experimentally.

The current experiment paves the way for new experiments in which the information contained in light can be mapped onto atomic clusters and then back into the light again. In this way, one could not only store the state of light in an atomic clusters, but also retrieve it. This process will be necessary if we want to build quantum repeaters, that is, devices which will allow the extension of quantum communication far beyond the distances (of the order of 100 km) which are achieved nowadays.

Hmmm...long-range quantum communication. That should come in quite handy. As Seth Shostak pointed out a while back, quantum communication provides the means of sending interstellar signals with caller ID turned off. Just in case, you know, some of the folks turn out to be more like their movie counterparts than we would hope they would be.

(via Kurzweil AI)

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