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Improving Optical Quantum Communication with Hyperentanglement

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For some time now, communication technologies have been trending towards using quantum mechanical phenomena for improved performance and security, with some networks already using quantum encryption. One of the phenomena used is entanglement, which allows multiple particles to be coupled so strongly that by knowing the state of one particle, you know the state of the others. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have recently taken this to a new level with photons by achieving hyperentanglement (which is actually a word).

Normally the entangled dimension for a pair of photons is their polarization, but the researchers have succeeded in entangling more dimensions. They accomplished this by turning the photons into a biphoton frequency comb, which effectively breaks the photons up into smaller parts. Each of these parts can then be entangled, and thanks to how this works, each new dimension of entanglement doubles how much information can be encoded onto the pair, meaning it exponentially increases.

This discovery has obvious applications for sending large amounts of data securely and quickly. It may even help distributed quantum computing and quantum cloud communications take form in the future.

Source: University of California, Los Angeles

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