We perform decoy-state quantum key distribution between a low-Earth-orbit satellite and multiple ground stations located in Xinglong, Nanshan, and Graz, which establish satellite-to-ground secure keys with ~kHz rate per passage of the satellite Micius over a ground station. The satellite thus establishes a secure key between itself and, say, Xinglong, and another key between itself and, say, Graz. Then, upon request from the ground command, Micius acts as a trusted relay. It performs bitwise exclusive OR operations between the two keys and relays the result to one of the ground stations. That way, a secret key is created between China and Europe at locations separated by 7600 km on Earth. These keys are then used for intercontinental quantum-secured communication. This was on the one hand the transmission of images in a one-time pad configuration from China to Austria as well as from Austria to China. Also, a videoconference was performed between the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which also included a 280 km optical ground connection between Xinglong and Beijing. Our work points towards an efficient solution for an ultralong-distance global quantum network, laying the groundwork for a future quantum internet.
Quantum entanglement was termed "spooky action at a distance" in the well-known paper by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen. Entanglement is expected to be distributed over longer and longer distances in both practical applications and fundamental research into the principles of nature. Here, we present a proposal for distributing entangled photon pairs between the Earth and Moon using a Lagrangian point at a distance of 1.28 light seconds. One of the most fascinating features in this long-distance distribution of entanglement is that we can perform Bell test with human supply the random measurement settings and record the results while still maintaining space-like intervals. To realize a proof-of-principle experiment, we develop an entangled photon source with 1 GHz generation rate, about 2 orders of magnitude higher than previous results. Violation of the Bell's inequality was observed under a total simulated loss of 103 dB with measurement settings chosen by two experimenters. This demonstrates the feasibility of such long-distance Bell test over extremely high-loss channels, paving the way for the ultimate test of the foundations of quantum mechanics.
Long-distance entanglement distribution is essential both for foundational tests of quantum physics and scalable quantum networks. Owing to channel loss, however, the previously achieved distance was limited to ~100 km. Here, we demonstrate satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs to two locations separated by 1203 km on the Earth, through satellite-to-ground two-downlink with a sum of length varies from 1600 km to 2400 km. We observe a survival of two-photon entanglement and a violation of Bell inequality by 2.37+/-0.09 under strict Einstein locality conditions. The obtained effective link efficiency at 1200 km in this work is over 12 orders of magnitude higher than the direct bidirectional transmission of the two photons through the best commercial telecommunication fibers with a loss of 0.16 dB/km.
An arbitrary unknown quantum state cannot be precisely measured or perfectly replicated. However, quantum teleportation allows faithful transfer of unknown quantum states from one object to another over long distance, without physical travelling of the object itself. Long-distance teleportation has been recognized as a fundamental element in protocols such as large-scale quantum networks and distributed quantum computation. However, the previous teleportation experiments between distant locations were limited to a distance on the order of 100 kilometers, due to photon loss in optical fibres or terrestrial free-space channels. An outstanding open challenge for a global-scale "quantum internet" is to significantly extend the range for teleportation. A promising solution to this problem is exploiting satellite platform and space-based link, which can conveniently connect two remote points on the Earth with greatly reduced channel loss because most of the photons' propagation path is in empty space. Here, we report the first quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite - through an up-link channel - with a distance up to 1400 km. To optimize the link efficiency and overcome the atmospheric turbulence in the up-link, a series of techniques are developed, including a compact ultra-bright source of multi-photon entanglement, narrow beam divergence, high-bandwidth and high-accuracy acquiring, pointing, and tracking (APT). We demonstrate successful quantum teleportation for six input states in mutually unbiased bases with an average fidelity of 0.80+/-0.01, well above the classical limit. This work establishes the first ground-to-satellite up-link for faithful and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation, an essential step toward global-scale quantum internet.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) uses individual light quanta in quantum superposition states to guarantee unconditional communication security between distant parties. In practice, the achievable distance for QKD has been limited to a few hundred kilometers, due to the channel loss of fibers or terrestrial free space that exponentially reduced the photon rate. Satellite-based QKD promises to establish a global-scale quantum network by exploiting the negligible photon loss and decoherence in the empty out space. Here, we develop and launch a low-Earth-orbit satellite to implement decoy-state QKD with over kHz key rate from the satellite to ground over a distance up to 1200 km, which is up to 20 orders of magnitudes more efficient than that expected using an optical fiber (with 0.2 dB/km loss) of the same length. The establishment of a reliable and efficient space-to-ground link for faithful quantum state transmission constitutes a key milestone for global-scale quantum networks.
Satellite based quantum communication has been proven as a feasible way to achieve global scale quantum communication network. Very recently, a low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite has been launched for this purpose. However, with a single satellite, it takes an inefficient 3-day period to provide the worldwide connectivity. On the other hand, similar to how the Iridium system functions in classic communication, satellite constellation (SC) composed of many quantum satellites, could provide global real-time quantum communication. In such a SC, most of the satellites will work in sunlight. Unfortunately, none of previous ground testing experiments could be implemented at daytime. During daytime, the bright sunlight background prohibits quantum communication in transmission over long distances. In this letter, by choosing a working wavelength of 1550 nm and developing free-space single-mode fibre coupling technology and ultralow noise up-conversion single photon detectors, we overcome the noise due to sunlight and demonstrate a 53-km free space quantum key distribution (QKD) in the daytime through a 48-dB loss channel. Our system not only shows the feasibility of satellite based quantum communication in daylight, but also has the ability to naturally adapt to ground fibre optics, representing an essential step towards a SC-based global quantum network.
In conventional quantum key distribution (QKD) protocols, security is guaranteed by estimating the amount of leaked information through monitoring signal disturbance, which, in practice, is generally caused by environmental noise and device imperfections rather than eavesdropping. Such estimation therefore tends to overrate the amount of leaked information in practice, leads to a fundamental threshold of the bit error rate. The threshold becomes a bottleneck of the development of practical QKD systems. In classical communication, according to Shannon's communication theory, information can transform through a noisy channel even if the background noise is very strong compare to the signal and hence the threshold of the bit error rate tends to 50%. One might wonder whether a QKD scheme can also tolerate error rate as high as 50%. The question is answered affirmatively with the recent work of round-robin differential phase-shift (RRDPS) protocol, which breaks through the fundamental threshold of the bit error rate and indicates another potential direction in the field of quantum cryptography. The key challenge to realize the RRDPS scheme lies on the measurement device, which requires a variable-delay interferometer. The delay needs to be chosen from a set of predetermined values randomly. Such measurement can be realized by switching between many interferometers with different delays at a high speed in accordance with the system repetition rate. The more delay values can be chosen from, the higher error rate can be tolerated. By designing an optical system with multiple switches and employing an active phase stabilization technology, we successfully construct a variable-delay interferometer with 128 actively selectable delays. With this measurement, we experimentally demonstrate the RRDPS QKD protocol and obtain a final key rate of 15.54 bps via a total loss of 18 dB and 8.9% error rate.
Intuition from our everyday lives gives rise to the belief that information exchanged between remote parties is carried by physical particles. Surprisingly, in a recent theoretical study [Salih H, Li ZH, Al-Amri M, Zubairy MS (2013) Phys Rev Lett 110:170502], quantum mechanics was found to allow for communication, even without the actual transmission of physical particles. From the viewpoint of communication, this mystery stems from a (nonintuitive) fundamental concept in quantum mechanics wave-particle duality. All particles can be described fully by wave functions. To determine whether light appears in a channel, one refers to the amplitude of its wave function. However, in counterfactual communication, information is carried by the phase part of the wave function. Using a single-photon source, we experimentally demonstrate the counterfactual communication and successfully transfer a monochrome bitmap from one location to another by using a nested version of the quantum Zeno effect.
Free-space quantum communication with satellites opens a promising avenue for global secure quantum network and large-scale test of quantum foundations. Recently, numerous experimental efforts have been carried out towards this ambitious goal. However, one essential step - transmitting single photons from the satellite to the ground with high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at realistic environments - remains experimental challenging. Here, we report a direct experimental demonstration of the satellite-ground transmission of a quasi-single-photon source. In the experiment, single photons (~0.85 photon per pulse) are generated by reflecting weak laser pulses back to earth with a cube-corner retro-reflector on the satellite Champ, collected by a 600-mm diameter telescope at the ground station, and finally detected by single-photon counting modules (SPCMs) after 400-km free-space link transmission. With the help of high accuracy time synchronization, narrow receiver field-of-view (FOV) and high-repetition-rate pulses (76 MHz), a SNR of better than 16:1 is obtained, which is sufficient for a secure quantum key distribution. Our experimental results represent an important step towards satellite-ground quantum communication.
We report a free-space entanglement-based quantum key distribution experiment, implementing the biased basis protocol between two sites which are 15.3 km apart. Photon pairs from a polarization-entangled source are distributed through two 7.8-km free-space optical links. An optimal bias 20:80 between the X and Z basis is used. A post-processing scheme with finite-key analysis is applied to extract the final secure key. After three-hour continuous operation at night, a 4293-bit secure key is obtained, with a final key rate of 0.124 bit per raw key bit which increases the final key rate by 14.8% comparing to the standard BB84 case. Our results experimentally demonstrate that the efficient BB84 protocol, which increases key generation efficiency by biasing Alice and Bob's basis choices, is potentially useful for the ground-satellite quantum communication.
In the well-known EPR paper, Einstein et al. called the nonlocal correlation in quantum entanglement as `spooky action at a distance'. If the spooky action does exist, what is its speed? All previous experiments along this direction have locality loopholes and thus can be explained without having to invoke any `spooky action' at all. Here, we strictly closed the locality loopholes by observing a 12-hour continuous violation of Bell inequality and concluded that the lower bound speed of `spooky action' was four orders of magnitude of the speed of light if the Earth's speed in any inertial reference frame was less than 10^(-3) times of the speed of light.
Quantum key distribution (QKD), provides the only intrinsically unconditional secure method for communication based on principle of quantum mechanics. Compared with fiber-based demonstrations-, free-space links could provide the most appealing solution for much larger distance. Despite of significant efforts, so far all realizations rely on stationary sites. Justifications are therefore extremely crucial for applications via a typical Low Earth Orbit Satellite (LEOS). To achieve direct and full-scale verifications, we demonstrate here three independent experiments with a decoy-state QKD system overcoming all the demanding conditions. The system is operated in a moving platform through a turntable, a floating platform through a hot-air balloon, and a huge loss channel, respectively, for substantiating performances under rapid motion, attitude change, vibration, random movement of satellites and in high-loss regime. The experiments cover expanded ranges for all the leading parameters of LEOS. Our results pave the way towards ground-satellite QKD and global quantum communication network.
A long standing goal for quantum communication is to transfer a quantum state over arbitrary distances. Free-space quantum communication provides a promising solution towards this challenging goal. Here, through a 97-km free space channel, we demonstrate long distance quantum teleportation over a 35-53 dB loss one-link channel, and entanglement distribution over a 66-85 dB high-loss two-link channel. We achieve an average fidelity of 80.4(9)% for teleporting six distinct initial states and observe the violation of the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt inequality after distributing entanglement. Besides being of fundamental interest, our result represents a significant step towards a global quantum network. Moreover, the high-frequency and high-accuracy acquiring, pointing and tracking technique developed in our experiment provides an essential tool for future satellite-based quantum communication.
Recently several more efficient versions of quantum state tomography have been proposed, with the purpose of making tomography feasible even for many-qubit states. The number of state parameters to be estimated is reduced by tentatively introducing certain simplifying assumptions on the form of the quantum state, and subsequently using the data to rigorously verify these assumptions. The simplifying assumptions considered so far were (i) the state can be well approximated to be of low rank, or (ii) the state can be well approximated as a matrix product state. We add one more method in that same spirit: we allow in principle any model for the state, using any (small) number of parameters (which can, e.g., be chosen to have a clear physical meaning), and the data are used to verify the model. The proof that this method is valid cannot be as strict as in above-mentioned cases, but is based on well-established statistical methods that go under the name of "information criteria." We exploit here, in particular, the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We illustrate the method by simulating experiments on (noisy) Dicke states.
We propose one and a half criteria for determining how many measurements are needed to quantify entanglement reliably. We base these criteria on Bayesian analysis of measurement results, and apply our methods to four-qubit entanglement, but generalizations to more qubits are straightforward.
We experimentally demonstrate a non-local generation of entanglement from two independent photonic sources in an ancilla-free process . Two bosons (photons) are entangled in polarization space by steering into a novel interferometer setup, in which they have never meet each other. The entangled photons are delivered to polarization analyzers in different sites, respectively, and a non-local interaction is observed. Entanglement is further verified by the way of the measured violation of a CHSH type Bell's inequality with S-values of 2.54 and 27 standard deviations. Our results will shine a new light into the understanding on how quantum mechanics works, have possible philosophic consequences on the one hand and provide an essential element for quantum information processing on the other hand. Potential applications of our results are briefly discussed.
Suppose an experimentalist wishes to verify that his apparatus produces entangled quantum states. A finite amount of data cannot conclusively demonstrate entanglement, so drawing conclusions from real-world data requires statistical reasoning. We propose a reliable method to quantify the weight of evidence for (or against) entanglement, based on a likelihood ratio test. Our method is universal in that it can be applied to any sort of measurements. We demonstrate the method by applying it to two simulated experiments on two qubits. The first measures a single entanglement witness, while the second performs a tomographically complete measurement.
Whereas single- and two-photon wave packets are usually treated as pure states, in practice they will be mixed. We study how entanglement created with mixed photon wave packets is degraded. We find in particular that the entanglement of a delocalized single-photon state of the electro-magnetic field is determined simply by its purity. We also discuss entanglement for two-photon mixed states, as well as the influence of a vacuum component.
Sep 19 2006 quant-ph
We report for the first time in an ancilla-free process a non-local entanglement between two single photons which do not meet. For our experiment we derive a simple and efficient method to entangle two single photons using post-selection technology. The photons are guided into an interferometer setup without the need for ancilla photons for projection into the Bell-states. After passing the output ports, the photons are analyzed using a bell state analyzer on each side. The experimental data clearly shows a non-local interaction between these photons, surpassing the limit set by the CHSH-inequality with an S-value of 2.54 and 24 standard deviations.
Aug 09 2005 quant-ph
we experimentally implement a fault-tolerant quantum key distribution protocol with two photons in a decoherence-free subspace (DFS). It is demonstrated that our protocol can yield good key rate even with large bit-flip error rate caused by collective rotation, while the usual realization of BB84 protocol cannot produce any secure final key given the same channel. Since the experiment is performed in polarization space and does not need the calibration of reference frame, important applications in free-space quantum communication are expected. Moreover, our method can also be used to robustly transmit an arbitrary two-level quantum state in a type of DFS.
Feb 24 2005 quant-ph
Realistic linear quantum information processing necessitates the ability to synchronously generate entangled photon pairs either at the same or at distant locations. Here, we report the experimental realization of synchronized generation of independent entangled photon pairs. The quality of synchronization is confirmed by observing a violation of Bell's inequality with 3.2 standard deviations in an entanglement swapping experiment. The techniques developed in our experiment will be of great importance for future linear optical realization of quantum repeaters and quantum computation.
Feb 15 2005 quant-ph
We develop and exploit a source of two-photon four-dimensional entanglement to report the first two-particle all-versus-nothing test of local realism with a linear optics setup, but without resorting to a non-contextuality ssumption. Our experimental results are in well agreement with quantum mechanics while in extreme contradiction with local realism. Potential applications of our experiment are briefly discussed.
Jan 03 2005 quant-ph
We report free-space distribution of entangled photon pairs over a noisy ground atmosphere of 13km. It is shown that the desired entanglement can still survive after the two entangled photons have passed through the noisy ground atmosphere. This is confirmed by observing a space-like separated violation of Bell inequality of $2.45 \pm 0.09$. On this basis, we exploit the distributed entangled photon source to demonstrate the BB84 quantum cryptography scheme. The distribution distance of entangled photon pairs achieved in the experiment is for the first time well beyond the effective thickness of the aerosphere, hence presenting a significant step towards satellite-based global quantum communication.
Dec 08 2004 quant-ph
We present an experimental scheme for the implementation of arbitrary generalized measurements, represented by positive-operator valued measures, on the polarization of single photons, using linear optical devices. Further, we experimentally test a Kochen-Specker theorem for single qubits using positive operator-valued measures. Our experimental results for the first time disprove non-contextual hidden-variable theories, even for single qubits.