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Significance Recent theoretical studies have shown that quantum mechanics allows counterfactual communication, even without actual transmission of physical particles, which raised a heated debate on its interpretation. Although several papers have been published on the theoretical aspects of the subject, a faithful experimental demonstration is missing. Here, by using the quantum Zeno effect and a single-photon source, direct communication without carrier particle transmission is implemented successfully. We experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of direct counterfactual communication with the current technique. The results of our work can help deepen the understanding of quantum mechanics. Furthermore, our experimental scheme is applicable to other quantum technologies, such as imaging and state preparation.
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.
It was assumed that the lithium-7 would absorb one neutron, producing lithium-8, which decays (through beryllium-8) to a pair of alpha particles on a timescale of seconds, vastly longer than the timescale of nuclear detonation.
"The yield of 15 megatons was 3 times that of the 5 Mt predicted by its designers.:541 The cause of the higher yield was an error made by designers of the device at Los Alamos National Laboratory."
That sunny dome! those caves of ice! And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Bewar e! Bewar e! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice,