Quantum teleportation is the ability to transfer information from one quantum particle to another, so that this one takes on exactly the same properties as the first. In this way, the second particle becomes indistinguishable from the first, even if it is in a different position in the universe. Hence the name "teleportation", a concept first demonstrated in the 90s.
Today, this is a common phenomenon in quantum optics laboratories, and is considered a key technology in the development of the expanding quantum internet. Teleportation, however, is not only for transmitting information but also for transmitting energy. In 2000, the Japanese physicist Masahiro Hotta of Tohoku University he proposed the idea of teleportation of quantum energy and worked to develop its theoretical basis. Now that theory may have produced a practical result.
Researcher Kazuki Ikeda of the University of Stony Brook, in the state of New York, announces that it has taken an important step towards this future technology. He was able to teleport energy for the first time using an ordinary quantum computer. Ikeda stated that this is the "first realization of quantum energy teleportation on real quantum hardware". And he points out that the ability to teleport energy could have significant implications for the development of the quantum internet.
Il teleportation of quantum energy is based on the observation that the energy of any quantum system is in constant fluctuation and that these fluctuations can be exploited to transfer energy from one part of the system to another, without it traveling through the intervening space. To demonstrate this idea, it is necessary to use quantum particles that share the same quantum state and are therefore "entangled". In recent years, the advent of quantum computers has made entangled particle systems available.
At the time, Ikeda used an IBM quantum computer to demonstrate that energy can only be teleported over distances the size of a computer chip. But it is certain that this technology can soon be extended to much longer distances.
A quantum network?
On balance, a technology to transfer quantum energy over long distances already exists. It proves the 158 kilometer link between Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. In the future, it will be possible to use a "quantum network" to teleport energy. Ikeda is sure it will happen by 2030. This possibility will have significant implications, as it will allow energy and information to be exchanged through the quantum internet. There will be traders and operators who will be able to choose where to get them at the most convenient price.
This will lead to a new science of quantum information economics, according to Ikeda. There are still many challenges to overcome. These include demonstrating that teleportation can transmit useful amounts of energy and understanding how it differs from information teleportation and what the differences are in the deep nature of the universe. However, the road is marked, and we could soon travel it at speed... instantaneous.