Teleportation! We all have seen it happening in sci-fi movies, and it’s about time we see something like that in real life as well. In a latest ground breaking development, Chinese scientists have teleported an object – photons – from Earth to a satellite orbiting 300 miles away in space.
The feat sets a new record for quantum teleportation. Scientists have hailed the development as a significant step towards creating an un-hackable quantum internet.
“Space-scale teleportation can be realized and is expected to play a key role in the future distributed quantum internet,” Professor Chao-Yang Lu and his group of authors from the University of Science and Technology of China, wrote in the paper.
This might bring the teleportation in the Star Trek movie to the mind, but there is no prospect of humans being able to transport at remote locations any time soon.
In the experiment conducted by the Chinese scientists, photons were beamed from a ground station in Ngari, located in Tibet to China’s Micius satellite, which is in orbit 300 miles above Earth.
Quantum entanglement – the effect in play – can generate pairs of particles simultaneously meaning they inhabit a single, shared quantum state. Counter-intuitively, this twinned existence continues, even when the particles are separated by vast distances: any change in one will still affect the other; The Guardian explains.
The paper published on the Arxiv website, describes how and in more than 32 days, the scientists sent millions of photons to the satellite and achieved teleportation in 911 cases.
“This work establishes the first ground-to-satellite up-link for faithful and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation, an essential step toward global-scale quantum internet,” the team write.
European Space Agency, Canadian scientists and a number of other teams have similar quantum-enabled satellites in development, but the latest results suggest China is leading the way in this field.