Chinese Scientists Teleport First Object From Earth to Orbit

The team of researchers smashed records with the first satellite-to-ground quantum network.

July 10, 2017 4:24 pm
Milkyway from Segara Anak. (Getty)
Milkyway from Segara Anak. (Getty)

The technology of teleportation has made a 500-kilometer quantum leap.

A team of Chinese researchers has successfully teleported an object from Earth to orbit for the first time, according to the MIT Technology Review. The scientists created a satellite-to-ground quantum network to instantly transport a single photon from Earth to 500 kilometers above into space.

Researchers fired the photon from the ground in the hopes of reaching a satellite called Micius. The satellite, which currently passes by Earth at the same point each day, received the photon, according to the team’s initial experiments. Previous experiments, which have been happening since the 1990s, have only teleported a photon as far as 100 kilometers.

But don’t get excited about zapping away for the weekend to a far-off destination just yet.

The technique of teleportation relies on a phenomenon called “entanglement.” This occurs when two quantum objects, like photons, form at the same time and location in space. Scientists can load up one photon with information before firing it off. Then, the second photon becomes the first, and with it, all of the information can be “downloaded” by scientists.

The experiment shows “China’s obvious dominance and lead in a field that, until recently, was led by Europe and the U.S.,” the MIT Technology Review writes. “[A]n important question now is how the West will respond.”

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.