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Precise Quantum Cloning: Possible Pathway to Secure Communication

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A beam splitter in use.

Australian researchers have produced near-perfect clones of quantum information by using high-performance optical amplifiers.

Credit: Lee Henderson/University of New South Wales

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) and University of Queensland (UQ) have produced near-perfect clones of quantum information using a new method to surpass previous cloning limits.

The new cloning method involves using high-performance optical amplifiers to clone light encoded with quantum information, which makes it possible to enable quantum encryption to be implemented with existing fiber-optic infrastructure.

One problem other researchers faced in attempting to send quantum information is that the quantum state degrades before reaching its destination. "Our cloner has many possible applications, and could help overcome this problem to achieve secure long distance communication," says ANU professor Ping Koy Lam.

The researchers used a probabilistic method to demonstrate it is possible to produce clones that exceed theoretical quality limits. "By designing our experiment to have probabilistic outputs, we sometimes 'get lucky' and recover more information than is possible using existing deterministic cloning methods," says UQ professor Timothy Ralph.

The probabilistic cloning method generates higher-quality quantum clones than have ever been made before, with a success rate of about 5%. "We hope this technology could be used to extend the range of communication, and one day lead to impenetrable privacy between two communicating parties," Lam says.

From Australian National University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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