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I was reading an article on Harvard Science's web page entitled "Quantum networks advance with entanglement of photons, solid-state qubits."
The frighteningly long title, the concept is that you can get two sub atomic particles to be "linked" over enormous distance -- that is, if you change the charge on one particle in New York and the other is in the middle of the Sahara Desert... it changes its charge too.
I don't even pretend to understand the math...
The idea, if it works, is that you can now have computers that are linked without wires, without networks as we think of them, but instead by exchanging information in this "spooky" way (as Albert Einstein called the theory). There are so many ways this could be used to create amazing computing power that I don't know where to start.
Instead, it made me think of searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. SETI has been scanning the skies for decades looking for radio signals from space. It only makes sense when you consider how much radio we pump out every day, but if a whole new form of communications came along like quantum entanglement, we would never know. There's no way to tap this communication, and it doesn't have the problems of distance and interference, so if you can do the math, why wouldn't you use it?
But this got me thinking one step further -- although I spend a lot of time on my cell phone, I wonder how much I actually use radio frequencies to communicate daily. Let's skip local wireless networks for a moment. We have four or five TV stations in Portland, but I mainly watch cable. I communicate by phone and over my computer a lot -- which again goes primarily through cables and when it is in the air it's point-to-point microwaves.
Sure, we're pumping out a LOT of radio frequency for all sorts of things, but I can see a day when we really don't need the 100,000 watt towers that blanket our cities, and apparently our solar system, in radio frequency.
But then, we don't have flying cars yet, either...
Benedict .: Re: Michael Bissell: Quantum Entanglement and the Death of Radio
The question I have, is that if - for example - you had an entanglement-communication device, a two-way radio that sent messages via entanglement -- could the entangled particles ever get accidentally un-entangled, once you've entangled them? I've seen some demonstration on tv physics shows that seem to suggest that entangling particles isn't all that difficult (but maybe entangling lots of particles is harder).
Any thoughts on this? Thanks!
Michael Bissell: Re: Benedict
Well, I'm not a physicist, but I did see something just today on your second point -- can we entangle lots of particles?
They already have! Scientists entangled 10 billion pairs of particles, the equivalent of 2.5 GB of data. Actually controlling the state of those particles seems to be a bit of a ways off, but this is pretty big on the path to quantum computers and quantum communications.
I assume that the issues with unentanglement will be figured out as they figure out how to control the state of the paired particles.