The scientists from China have successfully developed the first quantum satellite. According to the team of scholars from Chinese Academy of Sciences, the satellite has effectively distributed the intertwined photons between three diverse terrestrial base stations. The outcome is the greatest entanglement that has ever been attained worldwide and the first of its kind from both the Earth and space. The study was published recently in the journal Science.
The system will open more avenues for further quantum communications practical and fundamental experiments on quantum optics at distances that were previously not accessible on the ground. The newly launched satellite will make use of crystals to generate pairs of twisted photons in the orbit. Subsequently, the entangled photons are transmitted down to the terrestrial base stations after travelling more than 2400 km in the space.
In real terms, the entangled photons can stay linked at any distance, but it’s hard to distribute the paired photons without altering the entanglement that is required to give effective communication network. But with the new quantum channels, there is a positive result in the terrestrial fiber networks.
The aim of the study is to find new ways of improving the internet channels that are more secure than the current ones. The Chinese experiment is one of the significant technological advancement. The study is built on the efforts of one student studying quantum information at the Oxford University in 1990s who proposed that the twin photon approach to cryptography.
Jian-Wei Pan from the University of Science and Technology of China stated that when they started the project of working on the sophisticated quantum optics back in 2003, many people doubted their idea. But Pan and his team of other scientists went ahead and pursued their mission.
The developments are a great step and the dedicated team of scientists will continue pursuing more avenues to ensure that the outcomes lead to a new era in improved quantum communication network capability across the whole world. The idea has gone through various developments since its inception in early 1980s.