A team of physicists from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh used mathematical calculations to show that quantum communication is possible in interstellar space. In an article published in the journal Physical Review D, the researchers described the study’s progress, as well as the possibility that extraterrestrial beings try to contact us using such signals.
In recent years, researchers have investigated the possibility of using quantum communication as a very secure form of messaging. Previous research has shown that it is almost impossible to capture such messages. In a new article, the researchers wondered if these types of communication are possible in interstellar space.
To find out, they used mathematics that describes the motion of X-rays through a medium, such as those traveling between stars. In other words, they wanted to see if their calculations could show the degree of decoherence that can occur during such a journey.
When using quantum communication, engineers encounter quantum particles that lose some or all of their unique properties when they interact with obstacles in their path – they actually proved to be quite fragile. Such events are known as decoherence, and engineers working to build quantum networks try to overcome these problems. Previous studies have shown that the space between stars is quite clear. But is this enough for quantum communication? It turned out that yes.
In fact, space is so clean that X-ray photons can travel hundreds of thousands of light-years without being decoctioned – and that includes gravitational interference from astrophysical bodies. In this case, the optical and microwave range will work equally well.
Since quantum communication is real throughout the galaxy, other intelligent beings in the Milky Way may already be trying to communicate with us through it. The researchers also suggested that quantum teleportation through interstellar space is also possible in theory.
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