03rd February 2009 by Stephen Battersby
WE MAY never zap Jeff Goldblum across a room, but this feat of quantum teleportation is impressive nevertheless.
A team in the US has built a teleporter capable of sending the state of ytterbium ions from one side of the lab to the other; something that until now had only been possible with photons. The team say the technique could dramatically increase the distance over which quantum information can be sent.
Before this, teleportation came in two forms, both with severe limitations. Physicists could teleport quantum states between photons. But photons cannot be stored and so cannot form the basis for any quantum information device that needs a memory. In other experiments, the state of an ion has been teleported to another ion held within the same trapping device, a few micrometres away.
Steven Olmschenk at the University of Maryland i
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