Beam me up, Quantum Teleporation is now possible!

Teleportation            Science & Technology

Beam me up, Quantum Teleporation is now possible!

A team of researchers in China teleported independent single photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite with a distance of upto 1400 km.


In scientific fields, "teleportation is the theoretical transfer of matter or energy from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them". In common cultures, "it is a common subject in science fiction, literature, film, video games, and television". What was commonly regarded as a subject of fiction a while ago, has now been reported as a breakthrough achievement in the scientific fields when a team of researchers in China teleported independent single photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite with a distance of upto 1400 km through a process known as quantum entanglement.

According to the official statement, "quantum teleportation allows faithful transfer of unknown quantum states from one object to another over long distance, without physical travelling of the object itself". It further states that 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. It has been reported in the TIME website that the scientists beamed up millions of photons from their ground station in Tibet to the low orbiting satellite for a month, in which they were successful in more than 900 cases. The latest development comes almost a year after physicists successfully conducted the world's first quantum teleportation outside of a laboratory.

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance. These kinds of phenomena is hugely important in building an essentially unhackable internet and can also lead to advances in data encryption technology furthering our data security.

In more general terms, quantum entanglement is a situation in which one set of quantum objects (such as photons) form at the same instant and point in space. In this way, they share the same existence. In quantum physics, entangled particles remain so connected that actions performed on one affect the other, even when they are separated by great distances. This theory riled up Albert Einstein to such an extent that he called this phenomenon - "spooky action at a distance".

This process can be used to relay quantum information by "downloading" the information associated with one photon over an entangled link to another photon. This second photon takes on the identity of the first and teleportation takes place and thus teleportation takes place.

Although it seemed to be complicated and fictional, there were practical applications of this theory. For instance, the Lunar Atmosphere Dust and Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission of NASA demonstrated how quantum entanglement could be used to upload and download information between the spacecraft and a ground-based receiver.

In conclusion, this major breakthrough in the field of science has paved way for more ambitious and futuristic projects and strengthened its foothold in the future of data communications technology where we will be having a better and secure internet despite of all the complexities.