Science Blast: Too Cool for School!

Scientists Achieve Direct Counterfactual Quantum

Communication

For The First Time

Communication without particle transmission.

 
FIONA MACDONALD  10 MAY 2017

Quantum communication is a strange beast, but one of the weirdest proposed forms of it is called counterfactual communication – a type of quantum communication where no particles travel between two recipients.

Theoretical physicists have long proposed that such a form of communication would be possible, but now, for the first time, researchers have been able to experimentally achieve it – transferring a black and white bitmap image from one location to another without sending any physical particles.

If that sounds a little too out-there for you, don’t worry, this is quantum mechanics, after all. It’s meant to be complicated. But once you break it down, counterfactual quantum communication actually isn’t as bizarre as it sounds.

First up, let’s talk about how this differs from regular quantum communication, also known as quantum teleportation, because isn’t that also a form of particle-less information transfer?

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