Normally, you can only encode one bit per photon by using a weak laser. The team discovered that it could encode two bits by tweaking the release time of photons and using high-speed photon detectors to track these changes. Effectively, they’re giving photons properties they couldn’t have before.
There’s a lot of effort left before this becomes practical, not the least of which is the size: a transmitter/receiver combo would be about as large as a computer. It’s more realistic than you might think, mind you. All the parts beyond the single-photon detector are readily available, and it could even be used for “free space” (read: over the air) transmissions. Eventually, there may be a time when you could hold a secure voice chat knowing that even the most determined spy couldn’t listen in.
Categories: News Archieves