Teleportation of entanglement over 143 km

Author(s): T. Herbst, T. Scheidl, M. Fink, J. Handsteiner, B. Wittmann, R. Ursin, A. Zeilinger

Journal: PNAS

Volume: 112

Page(s): 14202–14205

Year: 2015

DOI Number: 10.1073/pnas.1517007112

Link: Link to publication


As a direct consequence of the no-cloning theorem, the deterministic amplification as in classical communication is impossible for quantum states. This calls for more advanced techniques in a future global quantum network, e.g. for cloud quantum computing. A unique solution is the teleportation of an entangled state, i.e. entanglement swapping, representing the central resource to relay entanglement between distant nodes. Together with entanglement purification and a quantum memory it constitutes a so-called quantum repeater. Since the aforementioned building blocks have been individually demonstrated in laboratory setups only, the applicability of the required technology in real-world scenarios remained to be proven. Here we present a free-space entanglement-swapping experiment between the Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife, verifying the presence of quantum entanglement between two previously independent photons separated by 143 km. We obtained an expectation value for the entanglement-witness operator, more than 6 standard deviations beyond the classical limit. By consecutive generation of the two required photon pairs and space-like separation of the relevant measurement events, we also showed the feasibility of the swapping protocol in a long-distance scenario, where the independence of the nodes is highly demanded. Since our results already allow for efficient implementation of entanglement purification, we anticipate our assay to lay the ground for a fully-fledged quantum repeater over a realistic high-loss and even turbulent quantum channel.


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