Chinese physicists have just broken the previous record for quantum teleportation with the creation of a pair of entangled protons over a distance of almost 100 km (62 miles). The researchers published their findings through arXiv.
Quantum entanglement is the phenomenon when two particles become intertwined and behave as one single system independent of if they are next to each other or far away. If one particle is examined, the other will adopt the opposite property.
It’s always been problematic to create particles entangled over big distances. There are a number of hurdles to overcome, including imperfections in optic fiber glass, air turbulence and other factors which cause qubits to become unentangled. The further away you are, the wider your beam gets and it’s possible for the photons to miss their target altogether.
Juan Yin, from the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai, and his team claim that they’ve cracked it. Their two stations were separated by 97km, over a Chinese lake. They used a 1.3 -Watt laser and some optic steering to keep the beam on target. They were able to teleport more than 1,100 photons in four hours.
The previous record was 16km and was also accomplished by a different group of Chinese physicists in 2010. While the physical teleportation of objects and people is a long way off, this technique could be used to swap information almost instantaneously in quantum IT. The data would be very hard to intercept while it traveled.
Reference: “Quantum teleportation and entanglement distribution over 100-kilometre free-space channels” by Juan Yin, Ji-Gang Ren, He Lu, Yuan Cao, Hai-Lin Yong, Yu-Ping Wu, Chang Liu, Sheng-Kai Liao, Fei Zhou, Yan Jiang, Xin-Dong Cai, Ping Xu, Ge-Sheng Pan, Jian-Jun Jia, Yong-Mei Huang, Hao Yin, Jian-Yu Wang, Yu-Ao Chen, Cheng-Zhi Peng and Jian-Wei Pan, 8 August 2012, Nature.