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Multiple Photons Entangled with High-Dimensional Quantum Property


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Quantum mechanics describes many unusual and counterintuitive phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement. By finding ways to cause these phenomena, advanced technologies can be created, such as quantum computers, unbreakable encryption, and a quantum Internet. Now researchers at the University of Vienna and more have successfully entangled three photons with a high-dimensional quantum property, which has been described on paper before, but this is the first time it has been achieved.

Entanglement is the phenomenon whereby multiple particles can have some property connected or shared between them. No matter how separated a pair of entangled particles are, measuring the state of one, tells you the state of the other. What the researchers have achieved is entangling three photons together, so one can tell you about the other two, and this was done by combining two pairs of high-dimensionally entangled photons. The high-dimensionality means that there is more than a single property entangled between the photons, so one photon can carry more than one bit of information. Additionally this experiment allowed for asymmetric quantum entanglement, as two of the photons could have another property entangled between them.

The applications for this discovery for now are limited to future experiments studying quantum mechanics, but as technology advances, more things become possible, such as building a quantum Internet. By entangling more than just two particles together, this Internet could connect more than just two people. Also the researchers developed a new cryptographic protocol that could be used with these photons to allow for multiple layers of information to be securely shared with multiple parties.

Source: University of Vienna

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