archive: RE: SETI ETI Quantum Communication

RE: SETI ETI Quantum Communication

Troy Taylor ( )
Fri, 30 Oct 1998 08:14:05 -0700

Once again, someone stuff me back in my place here if I am wrong, BUT...

I believe that this "quantum teleportation" would not transmitt any faster
or farther than normal RF communications. Light is just another form of
radiation. It travels through a medium at the speed of light for that
medium. The method used to transfer the information for the object (its
properties) was a laser. Thus, the limitations of the range and speed for
transfering that object are those of the laser (light).

The article stated, "Quantum teleportation allows information to be
transmitted at the speed of light -- the fastest speed possible -- without
being slowed down by wires or cables."

Their point isn't that this will allow us to communicate faster, but rather
that it might allow us to transmit the properties of an object at the speed
of light from one location to the other. But the limitations are still on
the method of the transportation. I.E. They used a laser to send the
information from one location to another. To quote: "They used these two
entangled beams to carry information about the quantum state of a third
beam. The first two beams were destroyed in the process, but the third
successfully transmitted its properties over a distance of about a yard

Thus, the quantum side of things just affects WHAT kinds of things we can
send (I.E. perhaps a physical object) but not HOW fast or far we can send
those things. Make sense?

Another thing that disquieted me was the following from the IBM article: "it
would produce an exact copy rather than an approximate facsimile, and it
would destroy the original in the process of scanning it." I don't think I
like the destroy part! heheheh. But hey, that's your typical teleportation
requirement, right?

Troy D. Taylor

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of
Brian Wong
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 1998 10:43 PM
Subject: SETI ETI Quantum Communication

Hi all,

Here is an article from Reuters and a web page from IBM Research that talks
about a successful "quantum teleportation" experiment in the lab. The
experiment for the first time managed to physically "teleport" a beam of
photons from one physical location to another. (taking advantage of EPR
correlation for you quantum folks out there)

I don't know if this topic has been addressed here before but if we are just
discovering that "quantum communication" can be used to transmit information
from one place to another then perhaps substantially more advanced ET
civilizations could possibly, and routinely, communicate in this manner.

Taking this supposition to the extreme, advanced civilizations may find
absolutely no use for the RF and optical spectrum for communication.
Imagine no noise, no static, no propagation, no interstellar scintillation,
and (perhaps) no interference or bandwidth considerations. It would be a
most ideal means of long distance communication. It took only over 100
years to go from spark gap to lasers and now to quantum communication. The
"technological window" for the utilization of RF and Optical communication
may not be very wide.

Thus it is possible is that there are very few or maybe nobody to listen for
in RF or optical SETI. They're out there but we will never hear them no
matter how big the dish or telescope. A very disquieting prospect. That's
just a thought. Any comments?