Physicists Sent A Photon To Space With Quantum Teleportation

satellite earth quantum photon

Last month, Chinese scientists had a breakthrough in quantum teleportation. A concept you might have linked before with sci-fi movies took shape in June, when the team sent a photon to space #todaymagic

Do you recall Micius? It’s the Chinese satellite sent to test various technologies regarding quantum states. One of them was entanglement, the moment when a set of photons (quantum objects) form simultaneously in time and space. The link between the two can enable quantum transmission if done in certain circumstances.

Well, the circumstances we were all waiting for became reality this year, as the team was able to teleport (transmit quantum info) a photon to Micius, the satellite capable of sensing quantum states of photons from more than 311 miles away.

By achieving that teleportation, the Chinese team broke two records: the first one was the act of teleporting an object from Earth to its orbit, while the second one referred to the distance previously recorded at which entanglement can occur. “Previous teleportation experiments between distant locations were limited to a distance on the order of 100 kilometers, due to photon loss in optical fibers or terrestrial free-space channels”, explained the scientists.  

But how did they achieve this feat? What exactly happened? Well, the pair of photons were created on the ground at 4,000/second. Then, one of the two was beamed to the satellite while the other remained on Earth. Finally, they were measured to establish the connection. See, entanglement happens when both photons share the same properties no matter the distance between them, one influencing the other. So, whatever information is sent to the first is reflected onto the second through that link.

This achievement is worthy of praise but it’s not guaranteed to work with larger objects or for bigger distances.

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