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China’s quantum satellite adds two new tricks to its repertoire

Era of ultrasecure communication inches closer

By
11:00am, July 7, 2017
Tibetan ground station

BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY  China’s quantum satellite has met two more milestones, performing quantum teleportation and transmitting quantum encryption keys through space. Scientists teleported the properties of photons, or particles of light, from a ground station in Tibet (shown in this composite photo) to the satellite.

A record-breaking quantum satellite has again blown away the competition, achieving two new milestones in long-distance quantum communications through space.

In June, Chinese researchers demonstrated that the satellite Micius could send entangled quantum particles to far-flung locations on Earth, their properties remaining intertwined despite being separated by more than 1,200 kilometers (SN Online: 6/15/17). Now researchers have used the satellite to teleport particles’ properties and transmit quantum encryption keys. The result, reported in two papers published online July 3 and July 4 at arXiv.org, marks the first time the two techniques have been demonstrated in space.

In quantum teleportation, the properties of one particle are transferred to another. The

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