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Science - Reuters
Reuters
Scientists Demonstrate Teleportation with Atoms

Wed Jun 16, 2:47 PM ET
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By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - It is not quite the "Beam me up Scotty" teleportation of Star Trek, but teams of scientists said Wednesday they had made properties jump from one atom to another without using any physical link.

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Physicists in the United States and Austria for the first time have teleported "quantum states" between separate atoms.

The breakthrough may not yet make it possible for people to disappear and reappear somewhere else, like actors in a science fiction television show. But it could help lead to "quantum computing" technology that would make superfast computers.

Quantum states include physical properties such as energy, motion and magnetic field.

"We've done it for the first time with massive particles, with atoms," Rainer Blatt, of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Two years ago scientists at the Australian National University announced they had teleported a laser beam of light from one spot to another in a split second.

Blatt and his colleagues and another team of scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado, reported the first teleportation of atoms in two reports in the science journal Nature.

The basic theory of quantum teleportation was outlined in 1993 by physicist Charles Bennett and his colleagues.

Quantum computing requires manipulation of information contained in the quantum states of the atoms.

"Using teleportation as we've reported could allow logic operations to be performed much more quickly," physicist David Wineland, the leader of the NIST team, explained in a statement.

The research involved quantum entanglement -- in which the quantum states of two or more particles are linked without physical contact.

"There are quite a few implications ... more on the scientific side," Blatt said. "We are far away from beamers, like beam me up Scotty," he added.


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