Researchers make steps towards a future quantum internet

Researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands are making progress towards a quantum internet, where qubits can be sent and received. They successfully transmitted quantum information using teleportation, demonstrating the potential of this technology.

Researchers at the Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) are optimistic about the chances of a quantum internet – one that will allow the sending and receiving of information using qubits – becoming reality. At the core of a quantum internet lies the ability to send qubits between the nodes of the network, but this is not something that can be easily achieved. 

In a study published in Nature magazine, Delft researchers describe how they managed to send quantum information through teleportation, using improved quantum memory and enhanced quality of the quantum links among the three nodes (i.e. processors) of the network. 
Quantum teleportation might sound like science fiction, but it is actually a rather straightforward concept (in theory, at least). Here is how the researchers describe it: ‘The protocol for quantum teleportation owes its name to similarities with teleportation in science-fiction films: the quantum bit disappears on the side of the sender and appears on the side of the receiver. As the quantum bit therefore does not need to travel across the intervening space, there is no chance that it will be lost.’ Otherwise said, quantum teleportation enables the state of a quantum particle to be sent between locations without the particle itself being sent; the information encoded in the particle is therefore teleported.