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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Entangled Modem Could Eliminate Communications Latency Jon Gabay

(Source: greenbutterfly - stock.adobe.com)

Werner Heisenberg, a German theoretical physicist and 1932 Nobel Prize winner, was pulled over by a cop who said, “Do you realize that you were going 75 miles an hour?” Heisenberg replies, “Great, now I don’t know where I am.”

While funny, the truth is quantum mechanics has changed how we observe our universe, ourselves, and reality itself; predictions from quantum mechanics are being proven correct all the time, and it is rather disturbing for Newtonian and relativistic thinking minds.

To make sense of it all, I created an acronym that encompasses five of the new laws. SEDEC stands for Superposition, Einstein-Bose condensate, Duality, Entanglement, and Collapse. As strange as it seems, laboratory experiments are confirming these non-intuitive characteristics of our universe and our realities.

Where observers can affect reality is from well-known quantum behavior proved decades ago. For example, superposition states that things exist simultaneously in different places. Dual slit experiments show that particles behave differently when observed. Observers effectively collapse reality and turn wave behavior into particle behavior.

One of the strangest predictions of quantum mechanics is something that troubled Einstein. He called it spooky action at a distance. We call it quantum entanglement. What this means is that photons, electrons, or ions can become entangled, and any action taken on one of them, affects the others, even when separated by galactic scale distances (Figure 1). This seems to break the speed-of-light barrier, which is why you can imagine that Einstein was so troubled. Multiple experiments have shown that entanglement is not only real; this quantum effect can be produced, reproduced, demonstrated, and quantified. In 2022, Alain Aspect, John Clauser, and Anton Zeilinger won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking experiments with entangled particles. The experimental tools developed by the laureates are expected to lay the foundation that will power a wave of emerging quantum technologies.

Researchers are now developing quantum computers that use qubits instead of bits to solve previously unsolvable equations. The Nobel Foundation noted, “Intense research and development are underway to utilize the special properties of individual particle systems to construct quantum computers, improve measurements, build quantum networks and establish secure quantum encrypted communication.”

Figure 1: Theoretically, entangled particles separated by even large distances, can be modulated, and demodulated to communicate with their counterparts without latency. (Source: Jon Gabay)

While the idea of a subspace modem may seem fascinating, my motivations are more selfish. As a musician who is not always in the same location as my bandmates, I would love a quantum entangled modem that would allow my bandmates to rehearse and perform even when we are not in the same place.

Let’s take a theoretical example of how a quantum entangled modem might be used in rehearsal when bandmates are in different locations. If entangled particles can be created (and experiments show they can), and entangled particles can be transported or sent in a stream (and experiments show they can), or entangled particles can be teleported (and experiments show they can), then give each musician an entangled modem using individual carrier wave frequencies to modulate the entangled particles with our own unique signal while simultaneously demodulating the signals coming from the other musicians (See Figure 1). Each musician will have their own entangled modem, and since latency is not an issue anymore, we can all hear each other as though we were in the same room.

Here is where the qubit research for quantum computing takes place. Electrons and ions can be trapped in a magnetic bubble, and even photons can be trapped in a Bose-Einstein condensate. It has also been demonstrated that silicon-based traps can house qubits that can be entangled. The entire process can take place in a system or on a chip, especially in light of the US Navy’s recent patent of room temperature superconductivity. This eliminates the need for costly and bulky cryogenic cooling systems.

Looking Forward

Whether achievable or not, the dream of an ultra-low latency communications link would be ideal for other applications as well. Real-time control and data acquisition from a Mars rover, for example, could be useful. Distant probes like the next-generation Voyager, for example, could still communicate without using higher and higher power levels as it flew further from earth. We are just beginning to fathom the possibilities.



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After completing his studies in electrical engineering, Jon Gabay has worked with defense, commercial, industrial, consumer, energy, and medical companies as a design engineer, firmware coder, system designer, research scientist, and product developer. As an alternative energy researcher and inventor, he has been involved with automation technology since he founded and ran Dedicated Devices Corp. up until 2004. Since then, he has been doing research and development, writing articles, and developing technologies for next-generation engineers and students.


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