Quantum teleportation Record Paves Way for 'Quantum Satellites'
Physicists have demonstrated quantum teleportation over a distance of more than 88 miles (143 kilometers) – a new record.
"Our experiment shows how mature 'quantum technologies' are today, and how useful they can be for practical applications," study team member Anton Zeilinger, a physicists in the Austrian Academy of Sciences, said in a statement.
"The next step is satellite-based quantum teleportation, which should enable quantum communication on a global scale. We have now taken a major step in this direction."
In this week's issue of the journal Nature, Zeilinger and his team describe how they successfully transmitted quantum states between the two Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife.
Quantum teleportation involves the exchange of quantum states instantaneously between two parties at distances that, in theory at least, can be infinitely long. The process works even if the location of the recipient is unknown.
Quantum teleportation could one day be harnessed to transmit messages, scientists say, or enable the construction of quantum computers.
But for such applications to work, the particles that encode the quantum states have to be transported reliably over long distances without deteriorating.
The new achievement indicates that such a feat is feasible, at least for the distances involved in satellite-to-Earth communications.
"Our latest results are very encouraging with a view to future experiments in which we either exchange signals between Earth and satellites or send messages from one satellite to another," study coauthor Rupert Ursin said in a statement.