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29 June 2004

Heidelberg Physicist Centrally Involved in First-Ever Demonstration of Five-Particle Entanglement and Open-Destination Teleportation

Significant advance in the field of quantum information processing

In an article published in Nature 430 (2004), pp. 54-58, Heidelberg physicist Jian-Wei Pan and colleagues from China, Germany and Austria have demonstrated for the first-time five-particle entanglement and open-destination teleportation. This constitutes a significant advance in the field of quantum information processing.

The quantum-mechanical entanglement of three or four particles has already been achieved experimentally and has been used to demonstrate what Einstein reputedly called "spooky action at a distance". But when he we have got used to all the weirdness, the fact remains that the application of quantum entanglement to real-world problems in computing and telecommunication faces an even greater challenge. To achieve the universal quantum error correction essential for reliable quantum computing, it is necessary to entangle not three or four but five particles all at once. This feat has now been achieved by a team of researchers from China, Germany and Austria. They present their results in a report published by Nature 430 (2004), pp. 54-58.

Another key process in error correction (and in distributed quantum information processing) is a teleportation protocol the researchers term "open-destination" teleportation. Here an unknown quantum state of a single particle is teleported onto a superposition of several other particles and can be read out at a later stage from any of the recipient particles. Not satisfied with five-particle entanglement, Jian-Wei Pan and his colleagues go on to demonstrate open-destination teleportation. Their methods could be used to investigate measurement-based quantum computation and multi-party quantum communication.

Please address any inquiries to
Jian-Wei Pan
Institute of Physics
University of Heidelberg
(also at University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
phone: +49/6221/549371

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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