Scientists have successfully teleported something into space for the first time ever
The experiment saw Chinese scientists send a photon up away from Earth, further than ever before.
Teleportation of this kind uses the bizarre effects of quantum entanglement, rather than physically hurling the object itself over distances. Instead it transfers the information about a photon to another point in space – creating a faithful replication of the object.
It marks the first ever time that effect has been tested over long distances. The success could bring with it a whole range of uses – including a quantum internet that connects different parts of the world at seemingly impossible speed.
Until now, experiments had been restricted to short distances because of problems with the wires or signals that would carry the information.
But the new test saw scientists teleport up to a satellite. That is likely to be the way that such teleportation will work in practice – sending objects up to space and then back down again to wherever they are needed, since it means there are relatively clear paths between all of the different points.
Teleportation has become fairly common on the Earth, where scientists can instantly shoot information about photons over small distances. But the new study moves towards making that effect more practically useful.