Danish boffins have made a breakthrough that will bring Star Trek style teleportation and super-fast quantum computing closer.
Eugene Polzik and his colleagues at the University of Aarhus have made two samples of several trillion atoms interact at a distance.
Quantum entanglement, or the art of entwining two or more particles without physical contact, was known by Einstein who called it "spooky action at a distance."
While it is not exactly time for anyone to be "beamed up" (unless they are extremely small and not particularly atomically complex), it is the first step to using real-life quantum communication devices and computers that process data on other planes of existence. Certainly it makes the concept of teleportation a theoretical possibility.
The first experiments in technology of this kind was in 1998 when scientists from the University of California teleported a beam of light across a laboratory bench.
"This is the first time that two samples have been entangled in this way using light, even though the samples are separated by some distance," Polzik said.
The work follows developments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where scientists are working on a secret US Army-funded project to develop the world's first quantum internet.
Entanglement will be used to create, store and distribute quantum data. It could pave the way to make super-fast quantum computers and link them into a quantum internet.
Quantum computing would also be able to crack the strongest encrypted codes in use, which explains why the army have taken such a strong interest.
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