Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have broken the quantum teleportation record in a big way. In a paper published this week in Optica, they report successfully transferring information from one photon to another across over 60 miles of fiber-optic cable — four times the distance of the previous record.
What’s all that mean? Most of us hear the word “teleportation” and think of “Star Trek,” but quantum teleportation is very real — and slightly less exciting.
It relies on something called quantum entanglement — what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” When close subatomic particles become entangled, they become linked forever — even if they’re taken very far apart from each other. When one of those particles transmits its quantum data to the other, it’s essentially teleporting itself.
It basically works like this:
Do you need more visuals? I need more visuals. Let’s have more visuals:
To break the distance record, the NIST had to use a very sensitive detector, one that could detect single photons. “Only about 1 percent of photons make it all the way through 100 km of fiber,” NIST’s Marty Stevens said in a statement. “We never could have done this experiment without these new detectors, which can measure this incredibly weak signal.
Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/09/23/scientists-just-smashed-the-distance-record-for-quantum-teleportation/