Chinese researchers have successfully teleported a photon from the Gobi desert to a satellite that is orbiting five hundred kilometers above the earth. This phenomenal mission was achieved through quantum entanglement. This is a process of two particles reacting with each other with no physical contact between them. Scientists from early 1990’s have predicted that this process could be possible with the help of Quantum Physics.

Micius is a satellite that is capable of detecting the quantum states of photons fired from the ground and is also is a highly sensitive photo receiver. Micius was in fact launched to test various building blocks for quantum feats including entanglement, cryptography, and teleportation. Not only the feat teleported the first object ever from the ground to orbit, but it also created the first satellite-to-ground making it the longest distance for which entanglement has been measured.

Chinese Team to  MIT Technology Review say that “Long-distance teleportation has been recognized as a fundamental element in protocols such as large-scale quantum networks and distributed quantum computation, Previous teleportation experiments between distant locations were limited to a distance on the order of 100 kilometers, due to photon loss in optical fibers or terrestrial free-space channels.”

The Chinese team has created entangled pairs of photons on the ground at a rate of about 4,000 per second and beamed one of these photons to the satellite, and kept the other photon on the ground. Concluding the experiment by measuring the number of photons on the ground and in orbit only to confirm that entanglement was taking place.