A team of researchers was able to teleport a photon, a particle that makes up the light, into the orbit of planet Earth. This is the longest teleportation ever achieved.
Teleportation is not really what we imagine it in movies, but still, it reveals that something very promising was discovered. Some researchers in China were able, for the first time, to teleport an object off the planet and put it into orbit. According to the study published on the website of Cornell University, this team of scientists was able to teleport a photon, the subatomic particle that makes up the electromagnetic radiation, to the Micius satellite, which is located 500 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.
All this was possible thanks to quantum physics, and this is a form of teleportation that science has already achieved, quantum teleportation, something we have known since the 1990s. So what science can do is transfer the quantum condition of a particle, that is, the exact state of one atom or photon, to another particle that is further away. The particle itself does not go away, however, its state is transferred to another particle, thanks to a principle called the Non-Cloning Theorem, it is impossible to create an identical copy of a quantum state without destroying the original quantum state. It would have to be destroyed to take all the information necessary to create the copy of the quantum state.
Something that’s been done for 20 years. In 1997, a quantum teleportation was performed between two particles separated by a distance of 800 meters from each other, but both were located inside the same laboratory. Already in 2012, another team of scientists will be able to teleport a particle at a distance of 143 kilometers from the other in the Canary Islands, reaching the first quantum teleportation outside the laboratory. But something new happened to the researchers in China, not only was it the first quantum teleportation made out of the planet, as was done with the greatest distance ever reached between the two particles.
The photon involved in the experiment was sent to a satellite that functions as an ultra-sensitive photon receiver called Micius or Satellite for Quantum Science Experiment, and although it is already part of an international project for quantum analysis, it also includes the Chinese space program. What this satellite does is detect the quantum states of photons sent from the ground. That is, Micius downloads the quantum information transmitted and then transfers it to a second photon with which it is related. The second photon assumes the identity of the first, thus a teleportation takes place.
The next step will not be to teleport any very large object, is that, apart from the team of scientists in the study, although there is still a limit of teleportation distance or particle size, it is necessary to take into account that the connection established between the two particles involved in this operation are very fragile.