According to a highly informative article written by Elana Glowatz and posted at the International Business Times, we might be closer than ever to using teleportation for daily commutes after scientists have used a satellite to teleport information between Earth and space.
Chinese researchers achieved two separate feats, according to papers published in the database arXiv.org. The first involved transferring a particle’s properties between a ground-based observatory and a satellite in LEO, almost 900 miles apart. The second transmitted quantum encryption keys between space and the ground, representing a secure communication that can travel long distances.
In both cases, this was the first time these functions were performed in space and, therefore, represent a step toward quantum communications being sent across long distances above Earth, according to a report in ScienceNews.
Sending a particle’s properties to another — or a group of particles’ properties to another group — is the basis of quantum teleportation. As the scientists explain it in the first study, “quantum teleportation allows faithful transfer of unknown quantum states from one object to another over long distance, without physical travelling of the object itself.” In this case, they transferred those particle properties between photons on the ground to ones in space that were entangled, meaning they interact with one another or depend on one another.
Earlier this year, a Chinese satellite called Micius was able to keep quantum particles entangled even after beaming them to two separate cities that were many miles apart. It was the farthest scientists had ever demonstrated such a process.