In The Experimental Setting
Experimentally, a simple implementation of a quantum channel is fiber optic (or free-space for that matter) transmission of single photons. Single photons can be transmitted up to 100 km in standard fiber optics before losses dominate. The photon's time-of-arrival (time-bin entanglement) or polarization are used as a basis to encode quantum information for purposes such as quantum cryptography. The channel is capable of transmitting not only basis states (e.g. |0>, |1>) but also superpositions of them (e.g. |0>+|1>). The coherence of the state is maintained during transmission through the channel. Contrast this with the transmission of electrical pulses through wires (a classical channel), where only classical information (e.g. 0s and 1s) can be sent.
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