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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Jul 20;109(3):030501. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Experimental demonstration of counterfactual quantum communication.

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  • 1Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.


Quantum effects, besides offering substantial superiority in many tasks over classical methods, are also expected to provide interesting ways to establish secret keys between remote parties. A striking scheme called "counterfactual quantum cryptography" proposed by Noh [Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 230501 (2009).] allows one to maintain secure key distributions, in which particles carrying secret information are seemingly not being transmitted through quantum channels. We have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, a faithful implementation for such a scheme with an on-table realization operating at telecom wavelengths. To verify its feasibility for extension over a long distance, we have furthermore reported an illustration on a 1 km fiber. In both cases, high visibilities of more than 98% are achieved through active stabilization of interferometers. Our demonstration is crucial as a direct verification of such a remarkable application, and this procedure can become a key communication module for revealing fundamental physics through counterfactuals.

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