Quantum Object Teleported 100 Kilometers by Chinese Scientists

Illustration for article titled Quantum Object Teleported 100 Kilometers by Chinese Scientists

Though quantum teleportation has existed for well over 10 years, it has never actually happened at a distance that would be of any use to people in the real world. But for the first time, Chinese researchers were able to teleport a quantum object nearly 100 kilometers, ramping up the real world applications for the idea.

According to Technology Review, the quantum teleportation does not involve dematerializing and then re-materializing physical matter, but rather using a photon to transmit the quantum state of one object to another, thus allowing the recipient to become a clone of the sender (think of it kind of like your consciousness inhabiting someone else's body).

Using a 1.3 watt laser, the scientists developed a guide mechanism that allows a photon to make it from point A to point B without getting lost. Satellite based quantum communications—which could be useful for quantum cryptography—are an application which scientists are particularly excited about. [Technology Review]


Image via Time

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O.K., I'm old and not a scientist. So I looked up "Quantum Object" and got something on the order of this:

A quantum object is " . . . for the most part is the physics of very small, very simple objects such as electrons, protons, light, and atoms." WHich seems that it's like, essentially, nothing?

So here's what I want to know. HOw is this any different than when I'm listening to the radio/watching TV and hearing Vin Scully describe a Dodger game . . . when he's in Los Angeles and I'm in New York (which is a whole lot further that 100 yards)? Doesn't a radio wave qualify as being related to electrons, protons, light, atoms, one of, some of, all of the above, in some manner or form? (Because if they do then we've been doing this for over 100 years now and a lot further than 100 yards).

Or, does radio/tv not count because it has something to do with being a wave and not a particle? Then again, I remember hearing somewhere that light is both a wave and a particle, and if light is both, wouldn't seeing an object, which, if I understand it, is actually seeing the reflection of light, actually be a sort of form of teleportation?

Sorry if these are stupid questions.