Physicists Propose Scheme for Teleporting Light Beams

July 14, 2009 By Lisa Zyga feature
Physicists have proposed a scheme for quantum teleportation of a beam of light, which could have applications such as in quantum computation. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( -- Usually when physicists talk about quantum teleportation, they're referring to the transfer of quantum states from one particle to another without a physical link. Now, physicists have investigated a slightly different form of teleportation, in which they teleport a quantum field, or an entire beam of light, from one location to another. This kind of "strong" teleportation is required for some quantum information applications, and could lead to the teleportation of quantum images.

In their study, Changsuk Noh, M.J. Collett, and H.J. Carmichael from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, along with A. Chia from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and Hyunchul Nha from Texas A & M University at Qatar in Dohar, Qatar, have proposed a scheme for teleporting a beam of , including its fluctuations over time. They hope to show that it’s possible that a physical object (e.g. a quantum field) in one location could emerge at another location in the same , so that any conceivable measurement would yield the same result in both locations. In contrast, previous teleportation schemes do not seriously consider reproducing certain elements, such as temporal fluctuations.

In their proposal, the scientists investigate using a stream of photons that are evenly spaced, or “antibunched.” Detecting the individual photons in a stream that is spaced similar to the photon stream at the input would verify teleportation of the full quantum field. The scientists wanted to find the conditions under which this detection could occur. They discover that squeezing light - a technique used to enhance precision measurements - could allow for teleportation of a quantum photon stream if the squeezing is across a broad bandwidth.

“I would say that the greatest significance of our study is at the level of clarifying fundamental principles,” Carmichael told “The original proposal for quantum teleportation is conceptually simple since the quantum state considered is carried by a material object - a particle. Alice and Bob are both provided with similar particles; the state of Alice's particle is destroyed and acquired by Bob's. When this idea is transferred to the teleportation of light, one faces a fundamental change, because the state of no light (the vacuum) is also a quantum state, and there is an infinity of ‘objects’ (modes or frequencies of light) in this ‘no light’ state. Every one of these has to be reproduced in the same ‘no light’ state in the teleportation. Our paper clarifies the distinction and shows how to achieve the necessary reproduction.”

The scientists note that the squeezing levels are demanding, but further investigations into designing experiments could reveal more optimal methods. One of the biggest challenges for realizing the proposal, as Carmichael explained, is the requirement for high quality, flexible sources of squeeze light.

“The technology to realize the scheme is, at the level of fundamentals, already in place; but there are serious challenges in making the technology good enough to carry out an experiment,” he said. “The main step required is to improve the source of squeezed light. Improvements in two directions are needed: first, to achieve higher levels of squeezing, and, second, to squeeze at a high level over a broad bandwidth in the range of frequencies of the input light.”

If physicists can overcome these challenges, the ability to transport light beams could lead to many interesting applications. For instance, the researchers suggest that a multi-channel version - in which two or more beams are teleported in parallel - could be used to teleport quantum images.

“Comunications systems of the current classical sort send information in a patterned sequence of light pulses - a sequence patterned in time, something like the teeth of a comb with the teeth missing in various places,” Carmichael explained. “Our method of teleportation is able to send such a patterned sequence of principle, even when each pulse is in an exotic quantum state or when the state of the whole string of pulses is entangled (a quantum comb whose tooth takes on interrelated ‘quantum colors’). Previous ideas about how to do this require a matched pattern of squeezed light pulses and a matched pattern of measurement pulses, both required to execute the teleportation protocol. Thus, our proposal finds application wherever the transmission of such patterned pulse sequences is needed, e.g., in certain schemes for quantum computation on a register of qubits.”

Most importantly, teleporting light beams likely offers yet undiscovered potential. “The greatest significance of our study will therefore hopefully be realized in the minds of readers who come to understand clearly what it means to teleport a quantum field (beam of light), and what the technical challenges are if the full power of this mode of teleportation is to be exploited,” Carmichael said.

More information: Changsuk Noh, A. Chia, Hyunchul Nha, M.J. Collett, and H.J. Carmichael. “Quantum Teleportation of the Temporal Fluctuations of Light.” Physical Review Letters 102, 230501 (2009).

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2.8 / 5 (4) Jul 14, 2009
A little tangential thought: this is the sort of thing that would be "old-hat" to any technical civilization sufficiently long-lived to have begun to spread into their galaxy; this technology plus others, like high-temperature superconductivity plus genetic engineering (one would assume complete understanding and control over their own genome, probably for thousands of years) would be fully mature and maybe even obsolete. That is why it is so hard to imagine what a really advanced civilization would be like.
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 14, 2009
@retro: Yup, and that would mean there's what might be a very small window of "detectability" in the stages between intelligent life and what we'd consider an advanced civilization.
2.7 / 5 (3) Jul 14, 2009
I maintain that it will not be we who detect such extraterrestrial civilizations, but they who will detect us, once we've made enough noise to be seen and/or heard.
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 14, 2009
Nothing new here. This ground has been covered.
4 / 5 (2) Jul 14, 2009
new to me, first time I have seen it.
1.5 / 5 (2) Jul 14, 2009
Searching the radio spectrum for ETs is like the Romans searching for ETs by looking for signal fires.
1 / 5 (4) Jul 14, 2009
Capsules with entangled photon fields could ride the laser evacuated vacuum bubbles in the beams.. FTL transportation systems and tangible time travel in the next 5 years?
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 15, 2009
Nothing new here. This ground has been covered.

This statement seems unlikely to be true given what the researchers suggest in this article (though I have not yet read the paper - only it's abstract). It would appear that what is proposed is fundamentally different from teleporting the state of a single particle (akin to the difference between firing one electron in a cathode ray tube vs displaying a continuous TV signal). Can you provide some references to back your assertion?
1 / 5 (3) Jul 15, 2009
Yes indeed, fundamentally different from teleporting the state of anything. It is about teleporting a "no light" state and therefore about transporting nothing and finding the same nothing. Anyone can take flights of fantasy and move combs of light but without experimental results and demonstrable verifiable predictions - worthless babble.
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 15, 2009
"Reducing matter to recorded light" that can be transported and re-assembled has been done, in part, by television. Real "transportation" would require, not "photons", but "electrons", on the theory that "All Matter Is Energy"!
not rated yet Jul 15, 2009
Yes, it was called Wonkavision...
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 15, 2009
You know, I keep reading these articles trying to see some hint of how close they're getting to teleporting an apple across a city. But for the life of me, I can simply never understand exactly what it is they're talking about teleporting! Is it matter? Energy? Information? Near as I can understand, this experiment does not actually move particles across space; it merely copies their quantum state onto a set of similar particles waiting at some remote location. Is that correct? So it's only teleporting information. (Though the principle of interchangeability of particles might make this equivalent to actual particle transport.)
5 / 5 (2) Jul 15, 2009

Valid questions from someone curious. You may profit from reading some good books on the subject if you like Physics.

Teleportation involves information, no matter is actually transfered.
not rated yet Jul 15, 2009
third year university project proposals reaally should have some credability
4 / 5 (1) Jul 16, 2009

Teleportation involves information, no matter is actually transfered.

It's a pop misnomer%u2014correlation, not teleportation which is tunnelling.

archonicus, shit-head: your -> you're; it's -> its

"antibunched"? Speak English: withbunched. "broad bandwidth"? Dolt.

What the hell are you talking about?
not rated yet Jul 16, 2009
Teleportation involves information, no matter is actually transfered.
But information Teleportation would make matter.


3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 17, 2009
This is absolutely incredible that they have at least figured out, in principle, how to design this experiment.

This might one day allow for incredibly useful deep space probes, and of course the benefits to networking and information technology here on earth are staggering. No more cable modem, just teleport the signal from computer to computer, instantly and with zero degredation.

This seems to be yet another case of Science Fiction predicting science fact (Star Wars and Star Trek Hypercom.)
not rated yet Jul 19, 2009
'reproducing an infinity of (no light) states'?
(surely not easy!)
3 / 5 (2) Jul 20, 2009
In quantum mechanics, all the forces of nature are mediated by the exchange of particles such as photons, and these particles must obey this cosmic speed limit. So an action "here" can cause no effect "over there" any sooner than it would take light to travel there in a vacuum.

But two entangled particles can appear to influence one another instantaneously, whether they're in the same room or at opposite ends of the Universe.

Einstein called this "spooky action at a distance" - spooky because there is no known mechanism for such an interaction, and because it would entail that things can be affected by events which, in some frame of reference, haven't happened yet.

Quantum entanglement occurs when two or more particles interact in a way that causes their fates to become linked: It becomes impossible to consider (or mathematically describe) each particle's condition independently of the others'. Collectively they constitute a single quantum state.

Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1925 showed that if two particles are prepared in a quantum state such that there is a matching correlation between two "canonically conjugate" dynamical quantities %u2014 quantities like position and momentum whose values suffice to specify all the properties of a classical system %u2014 then there are infinitely many dynamical quantities of the two particles for which there exist similar matching correlations: every function of the canonically conjugate pair of the first particle matches with the same function of the canonically conjugate pair of the second particle.

Thus system No. 1 "does not only know these two answers but a vast number of others, and that with no mnemotechnical help whatsoever, at least with none that we know of."

Schrödinger coined the term "entanglement" to describe this peculiar connection between quantum systems:

When two systems, of which we know the states by their respective representatives, enter into temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them, and when after a time of mutual influence the systems separate again, then they can no longer be described in the same way as before by endowing each of them with a representative of its own. I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its entire departure from classical lines of thought. By the interaction the two representatives [the quantum states] have become entangled.

Entangled Particles will entangle molecules continuously emitted (broadcast) non-locally and is received by and interacts with the other entangled particle pair's matter in its environment through a subtle process of exchange of quantum information. This is an extension of the known process of quantum emission/absorption and analogous to non-local quantum entanglement of the particle pairs matter.

Entangled Particle extends the reach of quantum physics beyond the atom and subatomic particles, but also into the larger world of encrypted data transmission. It brings the role of information in physical theories to the same level of importance as energy itself. Entangled Particle focuses not so much on particles as on the relationships and dynamic exchanges between energy, matter, photons, electric fields, and information. Entangled Particle looks into four basic quantum processes, heretofore largely ignored and left unexplored by science. They are as follows:


The state or condition in which an enduring confluence occurs between atomic and subatomic particles during energy exchange or other processes, characterized by a commingling of particle attributes, such as spin, EMF, and quantum energy of shared interchange electrons in a persistent and congruent manner. Associated with entanglement is an instantaneous non-local, exchange of information through the use of atomic quantum correlation.

Coherence/Quantum Interference Correlation:

The observation made under experimental conditions that paired particles do not move or behave independently when involved in the same process or in energy transfers, as predicted by classical theory, but rather amalgamate in a sustained fashion and remain enjoined as an enduring discrete ensemble of particles with compatible spin and polarization characteristics, regardless of what paths, vectors or trajectories are adopted subsequently.

Non-Locality (near & far):

The omnipresent and omnidirectional transfer of influence at the quantum level instantly, simultaneously and ubiquitously, through wave-like or field-like resonance wherein spatial and temporal factors are inconsequential.


The state of a universe that is considered to be unified and joined together holistically, through a process of non-local resonance occurring within the underlying zero-point field, that connects all matter, energy and information in the cosmos.

Entangled Particle suggests that all things in the universe are interconnected informationally. It also maintains that underlying this unity or oneness is the mystifying and mysterious dance between all matter and energy and information. Simply put, the basic promise of Entangled Particles is that the most profound insights about our universe will be discovered among the most subtle, implicit, and invisible phenomena of the sub-quantum level.

One result of Austrian investigators of the Institute of Experimental Physics of Vienna set a new record of teletransportation (Quantum Entanglement) of ' Photons crossed ' in the laboratory. The scientists had obtained quantum information from fiber glass of 800 meters of length, a canal of the Danube river the being crossed transversally and covering a distance of 600 meters, published in 20 of August in the scientific magazine British "Nature".

Teletransportation characteristics between two separate atoms, guided for university professor Anton Zeilinger, is based on the phenomenon of the ' Photons Entangled ' described by the Nobel Prize Albert Einstein as "Spooky effect at a distance".

One is about an effect of quantum mechanics that is not comparable with any phenomenon of the worlds current dimensions, since the two pair entangled photons, working in opposing directions, remain entangled between themselves.

Determining polarization of one of the photon, can be counted exactly on the other and has the same polarization, being identical of the first one. When transferring the quantum state exactly of a particle to another one, the scientists will have given a new step for teletransportation of substance. According to David Wineland, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology of Boulder, Colorado (U.S.A.), teletransportation of information between atoms is the key for powerful quantum computers, that must start to appear within one decade."

1 / 5 (1) Jul 28, 2009
Aaaaaaaand the Naysayers will continue to say NO NO NO!!! No classical information can EVER be transmitted this way.... LONG after real communication devices have been built and are in use.... This is the EXACT hypothetical model of information exchange i have been TRYING fruitlessly to explain to my colleagues for YEARS now...
not rated yet Aug 06, 2009
Aaaaaaaand the Naysayers will continue to say NO NO NO!!! No classical information can EVER be transmitted this way.... LONG after real communication devices have been built and are in use.... This is the EXACT hypothetical model of information exchange i have been TRYING fruitlessly to explain to my colleagues for YEARS now...

I guess they'll just have to create a new type of information that they feel CAN travel that way. hehe

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