Distance Record for Quantum Teleportation

Whilst we may be nowhere near the Star Trek age beam me up Scotty in the field of teleportation I have been watching with interest the continued developments in the field of quantum mechanics/physics that seem to be increasing in pace the last few years. The concept of entanglement is not entirely new in the physics world but practical applications and the ability to manifest theory into workable solutions often takes considerably longer, especially in what is still somewhat the wild frontier.

For something that is only just 20 years old it is progressing quite well. The initial validations of the hypothesis took about 5 years with an incredibly short range experiment being successful at the time with the workable distance steadily increasing over time. By 2004 this was up to 600 meters however this decade has seen numerous leaps and bounds in the technology; There are a lot of different groups of scientists working on it around the world and by 2010 the a team of Chinese from Shanghai had this up to 16km, and by early 2012 they were smashing their own record by pushing this to 100km across a lake in China.

Impressive that they could continue to set and break their own records however later in the year saw time for someone else to carry the candle and take the technology to new heights (come on China you can beat it!) a team of scientists from Austria, Canada and Germany were successful in transmitting information between two of the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain for a new record of 143km. Friendly competition especially in relatively new things is a good thing as evident by the large growths in the last few years which will likely lead the way for entangled based satellites as against current microwave / radio based transmission from terrestrial base stations.

Whilst I believe we are likely at least a century off the science fiction version of teleportation the modern world is an incredibly data hungry beast and the ability to transport higher and higher amounts of bandwidth at a faster rate will become in high demand within the next 50 years and current “standard” methods of satellite communication introduce far to much latency for the average users and their demand for near instant access to information as no one seems to want to wait for things to load anymore and is likely to continue to fuel the further development of quantum based communication, and if we end up settling other areas of our solar system Moon/Mars/Asteroids it could lead to the birth of the quantum solar system extranet to replace or at least further compliment our now aging internet. Will be interesting to see how things continue to develop in this field.


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