A team of researchers at the University of Vienna in Austria and a team at the University of Queensland in Australia have been experimenting with a more fluid way to transmit information between particles. It seems that the direct communication of A to B to C is a rather slow means of conveying large quantum conversations. So to create a swifter flow, scientists are using a new alphabet to relay greater ideas between particles using photons of light. But there is a special way to go about this. Because these electrons are moving at incredible speeds, even at the speed of light, the dependence upon a particle’s exact position bogs down this flow, similar to how one might receive far greater amounts of information by simply letting their intuition absorb the data rather than rigidly concentrating on book to book, method to method, study to study.
Ultimately, this more direct communication will still deliver the said information, but at a much, much slower rate, like trying to squeeze a knot through a tight loop. It’s possible, but takes much effort, compared to the great fluidity of light that passes through a loop with zero friction, where there exists the least amount of tension between an electron exact position and its momentum (that is, referring to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle). The goal is to allow the electron to travel as freely as possible while still being able to translate its location to have some sort of a basis to process that knowledge. In other words, the electron’s words have got to still make sense and fit into proper characters that can convey ideas into a language we can interpret. Naturally, as our language barriers break down and we rely on telepathy to converse with one another, so will our quantum understanding evolve as we’ll be able to understand far more incredible concepts and possibilities about the nature of Reality.
So this mysterious, new quantum alphabet appears as interesting twists of light, where each twist imprints the unique messages being spoken. Sounds quite a bit like The Matrix, eh? Well perhaps tapping into our own well of intuition isn’t so crazy after all if we’re using this same strategy in the quantum world, is it?
So below I’d like to share both articles that I had found this information at.
The first being from:
“A new alphabet to write and read quantum messages with very fast particles”
And the second presented as a PDF here (also where I obtained the first two images above from):
“The advantages of ignorance”
And the third (where I obtained the third image), presented on page 2, from:
“Top secret: writing with a quantum alphabet”
“Quantum information relies on the possibility of writing messages in a quantum particle and reading them out in a reliable way. If, however, the particle is relativistic, meaning that it moves with velocities close to the speed of light, it is impossible for standard techniques to unambiguously decode the message and the communication fails. Thanks to the introduction of a new method to write and read the message researchers at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences guarantee the reliable decoding of quantum messages which are transmitted extremely fast. The result published in the journal PRL opens up new possibilities of technological applications in quantum information and quantum communication.
Let us imagine the following situation: Anna and Bill want to communicate exchanging a message by using a property of a quantum particle, say the spin of an electron, which is an intrinsic form of particle’s rotation. Bill needs Anna’s message as quickly as possible, so Anna has to send the electron at maximum speed, very close to the speed of light. Given that Anna has the electron in her laboratory localized, one of the fundamentals of quantum physics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, forbids the velocity of the electron to be defined with arbitrary precision. When the electron travels extremely fast, that means, relativistically, the interplay between special relativity and quantum physics causes the spin and the velocity of the electron to get entangled. Due to this correlation, which is stronger than what is classically possible, Bill is not able to read out the spin with the standard method. Can Anna and Bill improve their communication strategy?
A group of researchers led by Časlav Brukner at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI-Vienna) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have introduced a novel alternative to the standard alphabet used by Anna and Bill. Their technique guarantees that the message, written by Anna and read by Bill, can be decoded unambiguously even when the particle behaves according to both quantum mechanics, because of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and special relativity, due to its very high velocity.
The novel method as presented in the journal Physical Review Letters delivers a new definition of the spin of quantum particles that move very fast. Thus it modifies both the way Anna writes the message and the way Bill reads it. Key to this technique is a ‘translation’ of the way the message would be written and read between the standard alphabet, used when the electron is at rest, and the new alphabet, used when the electron travels very fast. ‘These results are indicative that this translation procedure could open up to new applications in relativistic quantum information,’ says Flaminia Giacomini, the lead author of the paper. For instance, this technique could be helpful in satellite-based quantum communication, where a particle carrying a message has to travel quickly between two far-away points.”
Materials provided by University of Vienna. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Secret quantum alphabets could revolutionise how secure communication networks are built and utilised, according to a University of Queensland researcher.
UQ PhD candidate and experimental physicist Michael Kewming created his own unique quantum alphabet using the shape of light’s smallest particles – photons.
Mr Kewming said communication using single photons gives researchers the ability to encode and send hidden messages using the principles of quantum mechanics.
‘We tailor the shape of single photons to exploit their quantum mechanical properties, which allows us to do very strange things that you can’t do with classical communication,’ Mr Kewming said.
‘In fact, using these quantum alphabets we recently showed that you can conceal two messages in a single photon.
‘Imagine this; you’re about sit an exam and you’re allowed to bring one page of study notes.
‘Using a quantum alphabet you could secretly conceal two pages and no-one would be able to tell.’
Mr Kewming is conducting the research with Dr Jacqui Romero and Professor Andrew White at UQ’s School of Mathematics and Physics, leading various experiments where quantum alphabets encode information in the shape of light.
‘This research has the ability to create new and secure methods of communication that can transform the way people transmit and share information on a daily basis – it’s not just for sneaking notes into an exam,’ Mr Kewming said.
‘However, using quantum alphabets as an effective communication method is a challenging task.
‘As I continue to expand the alphabet, the physical size of my photon gets bigger, in fact, it can become so large that it no longer fits in my experiment.
‘Also, we can’t use the current fibre optic technology, like that used for the National Broadband Network, because these fibres jumble my alphabet and create interference that destroy my message.’
‘Despite these challenges, I’d like to think that we can overcome them.
‘One day we can create new, innovative ways of sharing sensitive information, via secret and secure communication networks, protected by the principles of quantum mechanics.’