But this article was not about quantum communications in general, but rather about the discovery of a third type of magnetism, the quantum spin liquid (actually a crystal substance, but the magnetic particles in it behave like a liquid).
But the really big deal is that these magnetic particles can take on non-discrete quantum states. Fractional states, in other words, which is a really foreign concept in quantum mechanics so far.
Quantum communications means communications which are based on quantum mechanics. Instead of thinking in terms of voltage and current, for instance, one approaches comms which depend on the emission of single photons, from an atom at the source to an atom at a destination.
One photon through a cavity, along with that photon's polarity, changes the state of one atom at the opposite end of that cavity. That single atom change of state can represent a zero or one bit value of information transfer. Think of the single photon exciting an electron at the destination to a higher energy level, with + or - spin.
If the atom at the end of the cavity can be retained in a given state, the scheme can also be used for data storage.
Point being, though, that photons must still trevel through the cavity (transmission channel). Which says that info transfer is still limited to the speed of light.
"Quantum communication, based on quantum entanglement, which does not rely on information transmission, would be a near instantaneous way of propagating information. The change in the state of one particle would simply change the state of another particle."
Please check your physics again...
"Dr. George Frederick Herbert Smith (1872–1953), was a British mineralogist who worked for the British Museum of Natural History. He discovered the mineral paratacamite in 1906. He also developed the first efficient jeweller's refractometer."
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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