Teleportation was once thought to be a myth that would never be able to be achieved. However, it has actually become a reality recently. The act of teleportation allows you to move an object from Earth into space. While some countries have tried to do it many times in the past, it has never actually been done up until now. China recently announced that they have been able to complete this feat and teleport an object into space. Here’s what was known about it.

What Was Actually Teleported

teleported a photon

The Chinese claim that they have teleported a photon, which is basically a light particle, to a satellite that is orbiting in space. The satellite is 310 miles above the earth. The process to teleport a photon is called quantum entanglement. While it may seem like a simple experiment, it’s actually a very complicated process that’s taken years to achieve.

Understanding What Quantum Entanglement Is

Quantum Entanglement

This feat is both bizarre and intriguing. How it works is that you take two different quantum objects and give them the same identity and existence, so whatever happens to the first object will happen to the second object. Once the second object has assumed the identity of the first object, then teleportation can happen. Scientists who are familiar with this phenomenon, state that once entanglement has occurred, there’s no limit as to the amount of distance that the second object can travel. China is on their way to proving just that.

China Has Experience In Teleportation

teleporting photons

This isn’t the first time that China has been able to teleport photons. In 2010, they were successful with teleporting photons in Shanghai at a distance of more than 60 miles. Why this newest achievement is so spectacular is because of not only the incredible distance that was achieved but because no one has ever been able to teleport photons into space. Many countries are experimenting with teleportation. However, it seems that China is leaps and bounds above the rest. While many countries do keep this type of experimentation but have chosen not to share their finding, it’s thought that no one has been able to achieve what China has. It’s expected that experiments will continue to be conducted to perfect this technique and continue to develop quantum communications.

How They Prepared For This

quantum satellite

It took some time and preparation to teleport the photons into space. They first had to launch a quantum satellite last year into a Sun-synchronous orbit. The satellite was named after the Chinese philosopher, Micius. This satellite is unique in that it has the ability to detect a single photon’s quantum state. Without the ability to detect this, they wouldn’t have known if teleportation had been achieved. After launching Micius, they created the photons. On d they beamed them up from a Tibet high altitude ground station, they measured the distance to the photon that was still on the ground and compared the distance to its correlate that they believed was now in orbit. By doing this, they were able to determine whether or not entanglement had occurred.

Future Implications Of This

While this achievement is pretty amazing, there are some future implications of it as well. It is thought that this will pave the way to an internet, that is unhackable because it was built using quantum communications. This is an achievable goal because the quantum states of entangled protons would allow encryption keys to be encoded in them, which would create a totally secure internet. Covert surveillance would no longer be possible because of the delicate nature of a photon’s quantum state. Even watching them would alter them substantially as they would be put in contact with atoms. The hope is that, in the future, communications would be secure and it would be just too hard to hack a system without getting caught.

In conclusion, the ability for China to teleport photons into space ha a global impact. The future of secure quantum communications depends on these types of achievement. There’s no word yet on any other countries that are planning to try to send photons into space or how China will proceed after this success. Quantum communications are no longer just an idea, it is becoming a reality that we very well may see in the near future. It will be interesting to see how this all develops.