(ScienceNews.org) Researchers from Nanjing University have reported using drones to transmit particles of light, or photons, that share the quantum linkage called entanglement. The photons were sent to two locations a kilometer apart.
The researchers used two drones to transmit the photons. One drone created pairs of entangled particles, sending one particle to a station on the ground while relaying the other to the second drone. That machine then transmitted the particle it received to a second ground station a kilometer away from the first. In the future, fleets of drones could work together to send entangled particles to recipients in a variety of locations.
Quantum networks made with fiber-optic cables are already beginning to be used. And a quantum satellite can transmit photons across China. Drones could serve as another technology for such networks, with the advantages of being easily movable as well as relatively quick and cheap to deploy.
The study is reported in Physical Review Letters.