Boffins managed teleport the photon to a satellite in orbit more than 300 miles (500km) away.
The satellite Micius – named after the 5th century BC philosopher – was launched in 2016 and is equipped with a highly sensitive photon receiver.
The world of quantum physics is notoriously tricky and even the world’s top physicists struggle to grasp it.
One of the most baffling subjects is that observing a quantum particle causes its state to seemingly change in what is known as the ‘observer effect’ and requires instruments that can read information precisely on an extremely small scale, which were present on the satellite and in the lab.
Quantum objects always match up with another – no matter where each object, a photon in this incident, is in the universe.
The photons are “entangled” which means that they were created at the exact same moment.
If one of the photons is measured, the other is influenced simultaneously, even if they are in opposite ends of the universe.
This is what scientists describe teleportation as. By observing the photon in the lab, the information was instantly carried to the photon’s match in the satellite.
This major breakthrough can be used for ultra-high speed internet in the future.
The team wrote in their study published on arXiv: “An arbitrary unknown quantum state cannot be precisely measured or perfectly replicated.
“However, quantum teleportation allows faithful transfer of unknown quantum states from one object to another over long distance, without physical travelling of the object itself.”
They add: “This work establishes the first ground-to-satellite up-link for faithful and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation, an essential step toward global-scale quantum internet.”