Scientists teleported classical information - Without the transfer of energy or matter

03/16/2016 - 15:02

Brooks Hays

"Beam me up, Scotty" - even if Captain Kirk supposedly never said this exact phrase, it remains a popular catch-phrase to this day. Whenever the chief commander of the television series starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) wanted to go back to his control centre, this command was enough to take him back to the control centre instantly-travelling through the infinity of outer space without any loss of time.

But is all of this science fiction that was thought up in the 1960s? Not quite: Physicists are actually capable of beaming-or "teleporting" as it is called in technical language - if not actual solid particles at least their properties.


Ref: Demonstration of local teleportation using classical entanglement. Laser & Photonics Reviews (11 January 2016) | DOI: 10.1002/lpor.201500252 | PDF


Teleportation describes the transmission of information without transport of neither matter nor energy. For many years, however, it has been implicitly assumed that this scheme is of inherently nonlocal nature, and therefore exclusive to quantum systems. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that the concept of teleportation can be readily generalized beyond the quantum realm. We present an optical implementation of the teleportation protocol solely based on classical entanglement between spatial and modal degrees of freedom, entirely independent of nonlocality. Our findings could enable novel methods for distributing information between different transmission channels and may provide the means to leverage the advantages of both quantum and classical systems to create a robust hybrid communication infrastructure.