Quantum Teleportation Reaches Farthest Distance Yet
A new distance record has been set in the strange world of quantum teleportation.
In a recent experiment, the quantum state (the direction it was spinning) of a light particle instantly traveled 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) across an optical fiber, becoming the farthest successful quantum teleportationfeat yet. Advances in quantum teleportation could lead to better Internet and communication security, and get scientists closer to developing quantum computers.
About five years ago, researchers could only teleport quantum information, such as which direction a particle is spinning, across a few meters. Now, they can beam that information across several miles. [Twisted Physics: 7 Mind-Blowing Findings]
Quantum teleportation doesn’t mean it’s possible for a person to instantly pop from New York to London, or be instantly beamed aboard a spacecraft like in television’s “Star Trek.” Physicists can’t instantly transport matter, but they can instantly transport information through quantum teleportation. This works thanks to a bizarre quantum mechanics property called entanglement.
Quantum entanglement happens when two subatomic particles stay connected no matter how far apart they are. When one particle is disturbed, it instantly affects the entangled partner. It’s impossible to tell the state of either particle until one is directly measured, but measuring one particle instantly determines the state of its partner.