A group of researchers from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) has developed a complex mathematical system that could be used to establish contact with aliens through quantum physics, as recently published in the journal Physical Review D.
While there is no hard evidence of intelligent life on other planets so far, that does not mean it does not exist. Under this idea, theoretical physicists see it possible that these alleged extraterrestrial civilizations can receive quantum messages at interstellar distances, as long as they have this type of technology.
Quantum communication and its development on Earth
In the first place, scientists insist on focusing efforts to make quantum communications possible on Earth, which, in theory, would make it possible for the transfer of information to be much faster and more secure than that of current systems.
However, at present, these quantum networks are very fragile and susceptible to interference. As quantum particles interact with their surroundings, quantum state breakdown can occur, something called quantum ‘decoherence’. “Quantum states are generally considered very delicate, and if there is any kind of external interaction, that state is destroyed”, explained the lead author of the research, theoretical physicist Arjun Berera.
Sending signals into space without interference
The researchers suggest that once these quantum communications stabilize on Earth, then they could also be sent into interstellar space by X-rays, with photons or light particles. In this way, towards a “cleaner” environment with little possibility of interference, the photons would be used as quantum particles that could be sent through hundreds of thousands of light years, far beyond the Milky Way. “It is plausible that photon-mediated quantum communication can be established across interstellar distances, particularly for photons in the X-ray region below the electron mass”, the researchers write.
A tool that might never be used
Quantum messages could be suitable for establishing contact with extraterrestrial civilizations because it is assumed that they are intelligent life and that they have the appropriate reception technology, although this is only speculation. “In principle, it should be possible to detect a quantum signal from an astrophysical body or even an intelligent signal from an extraterrestrial civilization”, the researchers said.
For the rest, the interpretation of the quantum messages that a supposed alien civilization could have is not taken into account. Likewise, it is not known exactly when this quantum communication technology will be able to be used on Earth massively. In this way, the ideas proposed by scientists could only be useful if the existence of extraterrestrials is proven.