Physicists recently teleported information stored in a beam of light into a cloud of atoms, without destroying the sensitive quantum state, a feat essential for future quantum computers and cryptography systems. Eugene Polzik and his colleagues at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark first entangled the laser and atoms into sharing a complementary quantum state by shining a strong laser beam onto a cloud of cesium atoms.

A second weak laser pulse, which stored the information to be teleported, was then mixed with the strong light beam, and their combined amplitudes and phases were measured. The researchers used the results to alter the quantum state of the cesium cloud to match that of the weak pulse. Effectively, the quantum state was transferred, or teleported, between the two, the scientists report in the October 5 Nature.