© 2021 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Yale Scientists 'Teleport' Info In Bid To Build More Powerful Quantum Computers

Scientists at Yale University have figured out how to teleport information at the tiniest scales of nature. That could one day power some of the world’s most impressive computers.Okay, long story short -- scientists have teleported a quantum gate between two qubits. If that sounds like seriously hard sci-fi, you’re not far off, says Yale graduate student Kevin Chou. “Teleportation has an interesting connotation. Things like Star Trek.”

But we’re not quite ready to teleport people yet, just tiny bits of information. Chou and his colleagues created a little portal - a quantum gate - inside a computer and then transported it from one part of the computer - one qubit, or quantum bit - to another part, without wi-fi or any other connection.

Rob Schoelkopf is the Yale professor who oversees the project.

“This teleported gate allows us to do gates between elements in a computer that might not be adjacent to each other but could be remotely connected," Schoelkopf says. "And so it’s a very nice way to network together smaller quantum elements into a bigger quantum computing whole.”

A neat trick with some big implications. Chou says opening these tiny gates between different elements of a computer can allow scientists to build more and more powerful quantum computers.

“We can split apart the complicated problem of building a quantum computer into smaller and more manageable chunks,” Chou says.

Next up? Schoelkopf and Chou say their team could try to transport these quantum gates from one computer to another. And that would be a whole new level of teleportation.

Davis Dunavin of WSHU public radio in Connecticut produced this story for the New England News Collaborative.