Another problem we must solve is the development of communication systems that allow exchange of information between us and our drones with low latency across astronomical distances.
This problem is pretty hard to beat if we consider that for example if we send a message from Earth at the speed of light, a drone that is located at a distance of 149 , 6 million kilometers (the distance between the earth and the sun), the message would be received with a latency of about 8 minutes, and if we talk about interstellar flight latencies would be enormous.
Knowing that the speed of light is a physical limit, would it be possible to find a transmission method to overcome this major drawback? Quantum physics holds out a hand to give us an option to solve this issue, like a superhero it were. Quantum physics is a field where rules are broken intuitive to get things like, for example, that an atom is intact and disintegrated at the same time, or that the particles can teleport. The quantum world is the “Wonderland Alice” where perhaps not all possible, but certain things you never would believe.
The key concept is called quantum entanglement, which is one of the most bizarre theories of quantum mechanics; so strange, in fact, that Albert Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance”. The strange thing about this is that when two (or more) objects are intertwined quantum, the quantum states of these should be described by a single state that involves all system objects, even when they are spatially separated objects.
In 2012 a group of physicists managed to entangle two photons Israelis who had never coincided in time, that is, that existed at different times. First they generated a photon and measured its polarization, a procedure that destroys the particle to be measured. After a second photon generated, and despite not have existed at the same time as the first, they found that had exactly the opposite polarization, which shows that both were intertwined. The finding was published in website.
Entanglement instantly works no matter what the distance between the two particles, either few cm. or that both are at opposite ends of the universe. Now, this experiment has shown that entanglement exists not only in space but also in time or, more properly stated, in space-time.
The application of this technique of “two pair” would allow an issuer to manipulate its photons, and therefore establish communication instantly. But we are far from being able to harness the enormous potential offered by this application yet. If this research gets thrive to become usable technology, future explorers interstellar drones can contact us using quantum communication devices.
Another option would allow us to send information circumventing the distance, is send over time as postulated by Dr. Luke Butcher, University of Cambridge (UK), which holds that if a narrow wormhole stays open long enough you could send messages over time by light pulses. With this option we could communicate with our space dodging drones space limitations by manipulating time.