A group of scientists has published a paper in Physical Review D and argues that quantum communication across interstellar space is likely possible and that advanced alien civilizations are probably trying to communicate with us through quantum mechanics, but we simply aren't looking for those types of messages.
According to a group of researchers, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations could be trying to communicate with us, but we are simply looking for the wrong kind of message.
Experts say something like this: Imagine you have a phone that does not have access to social media or the internet and can only receive SMS or MMS messages. In addition, these messages come in a language you do not understand.
If someone is trying to communicate with you by sending you a message via Messenger, What’s App, or any other modern communication tool, and you only have access to SMS or MMS, you won’t even know that you have received a message.
According to a new study published in Physical Review D, photons could be transmitted over vast distances of interstellar space without losing their quantum nature.
As a result, scientists looking for extraterrestrial signals (SETI) could also use quantum theory to find them.
Currently, scientists are developing a technology called Earth-based quantum communication, a method of sending information with quantum particles that has the potential to be more secure than traditional methods.
The study’s lead author, theoretical physicist Arjun Berera, believes extraterrestrial civilizations may also have embraced quantum communication.
Decoherence occurs during quantum communication when a quantum particle interacts with its environment, losing its quality.
“Quantum states you generally think of as very delicate, and if there’s some kind of external interaction, you kind of destroy that state,” Berera explained.
A particle might travel farther before succumbing to decoherence in space due to the lower matter density than on Earth.
X-rays, in particular, are spectra of light that can travel through interstellar space unharmed. This was calculated by Berera and Jaime Calderón Figueroa at the University of Edinburgh.
The researchers found that X-ray photons could travel hundreds of thousands of light-years beyond the Milky Way.
In response to these findings, Berera and Calderón Figueroa considered ways of searching for quantum messages that potentially advanced extraterrestrial civilizations may have sent out.
Quantum teleportation, which transfers the properties of one distant particle to another, is a potential method of communication to be explored.
A quantum missive, or even an entire intergalactic network of messages from every corner of the galaxy, could be identified by such simultaneous signals, as the technology requires both quantum and classical signals.
It is important to remember, however, that even if scientists can detect extraterrestrial quantum signals, those messages must still be decoded to be understood.
Some studies suggest that light passing through spacetime is composed of quantum information that can be encoded by quantum computers, despite its distorting effects near large objects such as black holes.
Quantum computers, according to these studies, can encode and organize quantum information in the correct order for interpretation, although this is just a hypothesis at the moment.
The study was published in Physical Review D.
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