Physicists in China and Austria have shown for the first time they can teleport multi-dimensional states of photons. Carrying out experiments using photons encoded via three spatial states, they say their scheme can be extended to arbitrarily high numbers of dimensions and is a vital step in teleporting the entire quantum state of a particle. The work could also improve technology used in quantum communications and quantum computing.

Quantum mechanics forbids the quantum state of one particle from being copied precisely to another particle. But teleportation – the instantaneous transfer of a state between particles separated by a long distance – offers an alternative. The process involves no physical transfer of matter and erases the state of the particle to be copied.

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