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CIFAR researchers have shown that information stored in quantum bits can be exponentially compressed without losing information. The achievement is an important proof of principle, and could be useful for efficient quantum communications and information storage.

Compression is vital for modern digital communication. It helps movies to stream quickly over the Internet, music to fit into digital players, and millions of telephone calls to bounce off of satellites and through fibre optic cables.

But it has not been clear if information stored in quantum bits, or qubits, could likewise be compressed. A new paper from Aephraim M. Steinberg (University of Toronto), a senior fellow in CIFAR's program in Quantum Information Science, shows that quantum information stored in a collection of identically prepared qubits can be perfectly compressed into exponentially fewer qubits.

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