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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: September 2012

7 - Applications of quantum entanglement


Quantum entanglement does not only provide a field of fundamental studies, but can also be harnessed as a tool for applications. In this chapter, after introducing two general theorems that are useful in the context of this discussion (§7.1), we propose a few examples: quantum cryptography (§7.2), teleportation (§7.3), and quantum computing (§7.4). For the moment, only quantum cryptography has given rise to real applications, and has been used in practical (and even commercial) applications; its purpose is the sharing of cryptographic keys between several partners by using a protocol where privacy is guaranteed by fundamental laws of physics. As for quantum computation, it is based on the general manipulation of quantum information, and is probably a more futuristic field of research in terms of applications, but it is certainly a domain of intense activity throughout the world.

Strictly speaking, none of these subjects in itself brings a really new view on the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Nevertheless, in addition to their strong intrinsic interests, they provide very direct and particularly interesting applications of its basic principles. This is the reason we study them in this chapter. We will only summarize the main ideas; the interested reader is invited to read the proposed references.

Two theorems

The two theorems that follow are similar; one deals with the creation and duplication of quantum states, the other with their determination.


The duplication of a quantum state, often called “quantum cloning”, is an operation where one starts from one particle in an arbitrary quantum state and reaches a situation where two particles are in the same state ∣φ〈.

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