High-fidelity transmission of entanglement over a high-loss freespace channel

Fedrizzi, Alessandro
Ursin, Rupert
Herbst, Thomas
Nespoli, Matteo
Prevedel, Robert
Scheidl, Thomas
Tiefenbacher, Felix
Jennewein, Thomas
Zeilinger, Anton
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Quantum entanglement enables tasks not possible in classical physics. Many quantum communication protocols require the distribution of entangled states between distant parties. Here we experimentally demonstrate the successful transmission of an entangled photon pair over a 144 km free-space link. The received entangled states have excellent, noise-limited fidelity, even though they are exposed to extreme attenuation dominated by turbulent atmospheric effects. The total channel loss of 64 dB corresponds to the estimated attenuation regime for a two-photon satellite quantum communication scenario. We confirm that the received two-photon states are still highly entangled by violating the CHSH inequality by more than 5 standard deviations. From a fundamental point of view, our results show that the photons are virtually not subject to decoherence during their 0.5 ms long flight through air, which is encouraging for future world-wide quantum communication scenarios.
Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, replaced paper with published version, added journal reference
Quantum Physics