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Scientists Send Messages With Quantum Entanglement

Credit: Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library/Alamy Stock Photo

Why send an email when you can teleport an email?

Quantum entanglement is when two particles develop a sort of invisible link to one another. If one particle undergoes a change of some sort, the other particle will reflect it. There’s a whole lot of theoretical stuff there that I’m not even going to pretend I understand, but I do know this: if quantum entanglement could be harnessed in a utilitarian fashion, we could send stuff faster than the speed of light. No, I’m not talking teleporters, at least not yet. I’m talking truly instant messaging.

According to a paper recently published in Nature magazine, a team of researchers have claimed to be able to send data to each other utilizing entangled quantum particles. Basically, they took two entangled photons and placed them into two separate pieces of silicon. By measuring the states of the two particles, the researchers could send data between the two chips instantaneously.

So what does this actually mean? Well, at least in theory, a process like this could be used to instantly send data and messages over an effectively unlimited distance. You might be saying “can’t we already do that with the internet, though?” Sure, but that’s only with the outside assistance of the internet. I’m talking data transfer with no internet at all. You could send data from the middle of absolute nowhere and someone could still receive it.

Unfortunately, quantum physics is still very much a theoretical science, so this research could be off base. Plus, quantum entanglements collapse after they send data, so this can’t be done more than once. Still, it’s an interesting study, and if happens to lead somewhere someday, we could end up with subspace communicators. USS Enterprise, here we come.