by Ovidiu Racorean
Humanity is facing now the dawn of a new technological era involving
quantum mechanics in almost all aspects of social life, from
computation to communication.
It might be natural to ask if we shouldn't consider search for
quantum messages from extraterrestrial intelligence.
China has launched the first
quantum communication satellite
last year bringing the humanity on the verge of a huge jump in
Considering light as the carrier of the quantum information, the
Chinese satellite is primarily designed to test the robustness of
quantum entanglement, a bizarre
property of quantum systems responsible for quantum computation and
Furthermore, this first
quantum satellite will probe not only high security data encryption
but also a new way of data transfer as quantum information encoded
in properties of the light particles, photons.
The quantum communication revolution may prove importance in
transferring data at far distances and so, in communicating with our
intelligence life in the universe.
Communication Through Light the Answer to Our Long Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI) Signals?
Quantum information processing in Nature.
As weird as may sound considering our actual technology of exploring
the physical reality, quantum communication might be the primarily
way of information transfer in the universe, as a recent article
Gates Implementation by X-ray Single-Photons around Rotating Black
According to the article, light travelling in the deformed spacetime
close to the spinning
black holes is constrained to
encode and process quantum information pretty much like the
information is manipulated in our actual laboratory quantum
Following the curved and twisted lines of the distorted spacetime
photons encode quantum bits of information in defined sequences that
could make one to think of computer program lines of a code.
When eventually escape
the black hole influence, photons in the light beams are endowed
with simple quantum codes that we may interpret and assess the
information they contain.
Since quantum computation and quantum communication seem natural
phenomenon occurring in the universe, it might look genuine to
consider quantum communication with light as the proper way advanced
civilization exchange information.
Extraterrestrial Quantum Messages
We already have the technological capabilities to detect and measure
quantum information encoded in light.
university laboratories and private companies around the world are
testing quantum technology in all aspects of their applicability,
from encoding quantum algorithms in photons, to transferring quantum
bits at significant distances and to storing quantum information.
The technological equipment researchers are using now in labs may
well serve to analyze the light captured by telescopes from outer
space and measure the quantum information stored in every photon.
Moreover, pointing the
telescope in the right direction in space, considering all the
earth-like exoplanets lately
discovered by NASA, our chances to detect quantum signals increase.
Initially, we may only detect and measure elementary quantum
states exhibiting a certain extent of quantum entanglement or
even maximally entangled
This is a clear sign that
we are not alone.
Although, we may detect and decode fragments of quantum information
stored in the astronomical light, to properly identify the encoded
message we need some special tools.
Detection the quantum information encoded in light might be the
premise to quantum communicating with ETI, but still it not resolves
the problem of interpreting the content of the message.
The required instrument
that hypothetically may arrange the detected quantum states in the
right sequence to decipher the quantum message is
the quantum computer.
computation tremendous power of quantum computers quantum states of
photons may be put together in the right order to form the
The efforts to create a functional quantum computer are now in the
final stage of moving the final product out of laboratory and
implement it on the industrial level. In the not so distant future
quantum computation will be part of our daily routine.
Still, the fact that we will not be able to properly interpret the
quantum message we may detect from outer space intelligent life
should not affect our quantum search for ETI.
Even the SETI program if
will one day detect an extraterrestrial signal, most probably won't
be able to immediately decrypt its content.
Another key ingredient in the attempt to quantum communicate with
other intelligent forms of life in the universe is a mean to decrypt
We should need a quantum
quantum key ensures the security of
the communication and endow the receiver with the necessary tool to
properly assess the content of the message.
In the absence of the
quantum key we may not be able to properly decipher a
hypothetical quantum message ETI may communicate.
Although the quantum key is missing, we should emphasize here a
remarkable property of quantum entanglement. Thus, the measurement
of the quantum state of one photon of an entangled pair instantly
decays the state of the other.
Roughly speaking, when we
will first detect and measure the quantum information encoded
in photons by ETI, the sender of
the message will intently be avert.
Our first quantum measurement acts like an "alert button", instantly
alerting the sender ETI that another technological superior
civilization in the universe is raising.
In conclusion, all we have to do is to measure the quantum
information stored in one tiny photon to connect ourselves to the
"universal quantum internet".