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Quantum mechanics is about to fundamentally change the way we can transmit and sense information. The idea is that information—represented by physical quantities such as the spin or the polarisation of an individual photon—can be transmitted with the help of so-called quantum entanglement. The EU project Q-ESSENCE, completed in April 2013, dealt with the development of new communication and sensing technologies based on quantum mechanical principles. Here, project scientist Martin Plenio, director of the institute of theoretical physics and head of the controlled quantum dynamics group at Ulm University, Germany, talks to about the challenges and applications of quantum mechanics-based communication technologies and what happened since the completion of the project.

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