Dutch scientists teleport data, creating foundations for a hack-proof internet

Discrediting Einstein in the process.

A team of Dutch scientists has reportedly managed to 'teleport' information between two computers. The news came through a publication in a popular science journal, where they claimed to exchange data between two computers despite a lack of any connection. The technology used during this breakthrough has led Professor Ronald Hanson to claim that it would be possible to teleport ourselves with distance in the future.

What we are teleporting is the state of a particle. If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another.

As for the present, Professor Hanson and his team has provided a key step towards building quantum networks, and ultimately the quantum internet. The teleportation medium known as 'quantum entanglement' is completely hackproof, it's impossible to intercept the information relayed.

The group of scientists achieved the data teleportation over a distance of three meters, they look to testing a distance of 1,300 meters this summer.

Optical elements to guide single photons to each diamond

The information transferred during the experiment is stored on diamond quantum bits. These are significantly more complex than the standard 'bit' that we see in our devices today. The diamond bits can store multiple values at once, contrasting to our limited '0 and 1' signaling scheme.

What you're doing is using entanglement as your communication channel. The information is teleported to the other side, and there's no way anyone can intercept that information.

In addition to this breakthrough, the team has gone directly against Einstein's belief that 'quantum entanglement' does not exist. Previously cast as "spooky actions" from the man himself, the team need to further prove that the entanglement process works with distance.

Creating a hackproof internet is both exciting and daunting in its own right. If the breakthrough's continue coming our way, we could see data exchanges previously unheard of. The potential for an increase in crime rate is also huge. But don't go packing your bags for rural Alaska quite yet, it's still in early stages and there's no sign of any fully functioning network at this stage.

Source: Science Mag via DutchNews.nl Image via The Independent

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

WWDC 2014: What to expect

Next Story

Microsoft to offer five free Xbox games for June's Games with Gold program

26 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is fascinating! We spent many long evenings as students at Purdue University discussing this possibility back in the 90's at the local brewery. It was great conversation amongst engineers and physicists at the time, but we know more now than 20 years ago.

The more that is unlocked around quantum mechanics and entanglement, the more we realize that this is nothing short of changing the course of humanity. We would no longer be concerned with latency in compute systems, and limited by the speed of light. Current encryption would need to be reimagined along with how we hold on to data. Time and space become secondary problems as we begin to understand quantum entanglement.

We may even be able to find all of those lost socks from the clothes dryer, too. :-P

One thing I do not understand is, what's the point? Can't you just isolate the computers to an intranet with no outward connection and just run fiber back and forth?

Or perhaps the end goal would be to accomplish the same thing with the exception of removing the necessary fiber or copper connecting the two buildings.

It would be creating the a world wide network like the internet that is potentially hack proof that does not need wires and would be a extremely powerful way of sending information as it can hold more values than just 0 and 1 which you would be able to do much more with.

Mandosis said,
It would be creating the a world wide network like the internet that is potentially hack proof that does not need wires and would be a extremely powerful way of sending information as it can hold more values than just 0 and 1 which you would be able to do much more with.

If anyone can access the network, it's not hack-proof

The big point is that this is fundamental research. There are dozens of applications imaginable. A "hack proof internet" isn't a very accurate term. What it's referring to is that since there is no "connection" between the systems, and nothing is really "transported", there is no opportunity for eaves dropping or manipulating along the way. The kind of attacks commonly know as a Man-in-the-middle attack.

Obviously other kinds of hacking are still possible, but they target the systems, users, etc, at either side. So in that sense the "internet" as a transport medium would be hack-proof if it was based on this kind of technology.

Yeah, the article should have said "Able to communicate without being intercepted" or "Line Secure". Hack proof is just too broad.

Your thinking extremely small here, quantum entanglement isnt supposed to have a maximum range i dont think so think of relaying information from mars, or another solar system or galaxy that type of range and is supposed to be instantaneous so yeah its the first step for communication when we go exploring the universe

trieste said,
If it's quantum, its data is scrambled when a hacker tries to OBSERVE it.

yeah but the theory of quantum entanglement is that it can sent across enormous distances, talking light years instantly i dunno why but yah thats the important part. Its paving for the way for the next 200+ years of long range communication

psionicinversion said,

yeah but the theory of quantum entanglement is that it can sent across enormous distances, talking light years instantly i dunno why but yah thats the important part. Its paving for the way for the next 200+ years of long range communication

It's instantaneous, but you can't extract any useful information from it. You still need a classical channel.

This won't speed up long range communication.

If this was to be perfected, we could then have speeds beyond anything ISPs provide right now. It also means they can't justify capping data :D

Not really. The change in quantum state travelled faster than the speed of light, sure, but there is no known way, even in theory, to use this to communicate useful information at faster than light speed (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_teleportation). The utility of quantum teleportation is not that it speeds things up, but that it prevents wiretapping, as the article correctly implies.

Information doesn't travel faster than the speed of light because this method requires a classical channel to transfer data to complete the process.

Quantum teleportation is only used to transmit a one-time pad that we can guarantee hasn't been snooped on. Then you can encrypt the data you want to transmit using the one-time pad on a classical channel... which is unbreakable encryption.

rfirth said,
Information doesn't travel faster than the speed of light because this method requires a classical channel to transfer data to complete the process.
.

Totally wrong. As Douglas Adams correctly pointed out, nothing travels faster than bad news.