Firing Photons Makes Advance in Space Communication

Released: 4/10/2008 1:05 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing
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Newswise — IOP Publishing is pleased to announce the online publication of "Experimental verification of the feasibility of a quantum channel between space and Earth" in the world-renowned New Journal of Physics. For the first time, physicists have been able to identify individual returning photons after firing and reflecting them off of a space satellite in orbit almost 1,500 kilometers above the Earth.

The experiment has proven the possibility of constructing a quantum channel between space and Earth. The authors discuss the feasibility of building a secure channel for global communication via satellites in space, all thanks to advances in quantum mechanics. This news is welcomed by communication companies, banks, and intelligence agencies worldwide as it paves the way for quantum-encrypted communication. This is the only form of communication that could completely ensure the absence of eavesdroppers.

The research team led by Professor Paolo Villoresi and Professor Cesare Barbieri from Padova University, Italy, took intricate steps to fire photons directly at the Japanese Ajisai Satellite. The researchers were able to prove that the photons received back at the Matera ground-based station, in southern Italy, were the same as those originally emitted.

The researchers stated, "We have achieved significant experimental results towards the realization of a quantum communication channel, as well as how to actually adapt an existing laser ranging facility for quantum communication." You can view the article online at: http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/1367-2630/10/3/033038.

New Journal of Physics celebrates its 10th anniversary this year marking a decade of providing the physics community with permanently free access to research of the highest quality. To mark this momentous anniversary the journal's Editorial Board and publishing staff have compiled a selection of article highlights that have been published in the journal since 1998. New Journal of Physics is co-owned with Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. You can visit the journals homepage and view these selected highlights at: http://www.njp.org.

IOP Publishing is a not-for-profit learned society publisher, with a reputation for quality and high standards of service. We have a comprehensive range of products serving the physics and physics-related communities, and we are an established leader in the world of scientific journals and electronic publishing. To learn more about New Journal of Physics and other IOP Publishing journals, please visit http://ioppublishing.org.


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