Quantum communication in space may be possible

What is quantum communication?

When the first theories of quantum physics first appeared in the early 20’se In the century, scientists at that time must have been far from doubting that one day we would talk about quantum communication and the possibility of communication by possible forms of intelligent life. However, it seems that physicists have taken a fundamental step by confirming the assumptions of quantum physics and applying these principles to communication.

Read more: Here’s the first quantum teleportation of information!

These possibilities would not be possible without the help of mathematics and the use of the concepts of quantum entanglement and quantum state transfer. Quantum entanglement is an important concept in quantum physics that has allowed the description of many previously unexplained phenomena. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon where two particles are in the same state and share the same quantum properties. When we measure the state of one particle, the other trapped particle automatically assumes the same value. This strange property exists, regardless of the distance between the particles when frozen.

For example, in a quantum entanglement state, two photons share the same properties. If one of the photons located a few thousand light years away from the other changes its quantum state, the other also does so instantly.

Equally surprising is the concept of quantum state transfer known as quantum teleportation. It is the transfer of quantum conditions from one place to another, but without the transfer of matter. This definition makes it possible to quickly realize that the concepts of quantum entanglement and quantum state transfer are closely linked.

Interstellar space significantly “clear”

The place seems chaotic. In fact, it has a vacuum ideal for quantum communication.

Physicists at the University of Edinburgh have just described a photon’s journey that transcends interstellar space without passing through the phenomenon of decoherence. To understand the theory of quantum decoherence, we must remember what is meant by the superposition of states: the properties of an atom or quantum system constitute its state. However, in quantum physics, a system can exist in several states at the same time, this is the superposition of states.

In 1982, a physicist proposed the idea that there is an interaction between a quantum system and its environment. This means that quantum particles are never isolated from anything that can communicate with the system in which they find themselves, such as a measuring instrument, a molecule in the air, or an interstellar space photon that will pass through space. Multiple interactions of quantum particles with the environment cause rapid destruction of quantum interference. When these quantum interventions are destroyed, the superpositions of the states are removed and only the general conditions of classical physics remain.

The researchers hypothesized that the photons produced, for example, could easily travel into space in thousands of light-years without quantum decoherence in the stars, meaning that they would not face obstacles in their path.

Previous studies have shown that the space between stars is a clean environment, meaning almost nothing. Some studies estimate that the vacuum of space contains less than a quarter of the protons per cubic meter.

Read more: Wormholes, shortcuts through space-time?

Possibility of quantum communication with extraterrestrial civilization

Mathematics shows that interstellar space is clear enough to allow quantum communication. If other intelligent beings existed in the galaxy or elsewhere on the edge of the universe, they might be able to communicate with us through quantum communication.

These quantum messages sent by an evolved civilization can travel billions upon billions of kilometers due to the emptiness of space in which there is almost nothing. Under this condition, the sent message will not suffer any loss of its quantum properties. Arjun Berera, one of the researchers involved in the study, said: “Quantum states are generally considered to be very subtle, because if there is even the slightest external interaction, these states can be quickly destroyed.”

Once these extraterrestrial quantum messages are sent, they still need to be decrypted in order to discover their contents. Some researchers believe that light that travels through spacetime, and therefore can be decoded using a quantum system, a quantum computer.

All of this is currently just speculation and speculation, but it paves the way for exciting discoveries that may one day realize what certain creatures living elsewhere in the universe can tell us!

Read more: No, gravity will not cause quantum decoherence

Source: Arjun Berera and Jaime Calderon-Figuero, “Interstellar Distance across the Viability of Quantum Communication”, published in Physical Review D, 105, 123033, 28 June 2022, https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.110/ .105.123033

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