A team of scientists in china has for the first time successfully teleported an object from Earth to space using quantum entanglement. They published their findings online on the open access site for scientific papers 'arXiv.'

What object did they teleport?

The team of scientists sent a photon from Earth to an orbiting satellite that was over 300 miles (482.8 kilometers) above by using quantum entanglement. This is the farthest distance ever that the researchers have achieved in their teleportation tests. For around the last month, the team in China has been teleporting million of photons into space from their ground station in Tibet to the low-orbiting Micius satellite above.

They have done this by using crystals and lasers to beam the photons and in more than 900 cases, the photon was successfully teleported to the satellite.

What does this mean?

Despite it only behind a photon that was teleported, this is one of the first in many steps that will pave the way for more ambitious breakthroughs in the future. The team acknowledged in a statement that their work here with quantum entanglement was only a first but essential step towards global scale quantum Internet, which would essentially be unhackable.

This could also lead to amazing advances in data encryption. It also establishes what is the first ground-to-satellite up-link, which will hopefully lead to reliable and ultra-long distance quantum teleportation. Obviously, achieving any of these goals are still far in the future, by science must go one step at a time to get there.

What are photons and quantum entanglement?

Photons are particles which transmit light in many atomic models. They are elementary particles that are their own antiparticles and each has a characteristic quantum of energy in quantum mechanics. They are fundamental particles that can be destroyed and created, however, their lifetime is infinite.

The modern concept of photons was steadily developed by Albert Einstein over the early 20th century.

The process of quantum entanglement is what happens when two photons, or any type of particle, react with each other even though they have no physical connection. They become permanently linked in such a way that the link exists no matter where the particles are located. It is a phenomenon that physicists cannot really explain but have only observed. Einstein, along with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, first discovered and discussed it in a 1935 scientific paper.