1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    A misleading headline is making people think that a physical object has been teleported from the ground into space, leading to all kinds of excitement and speculation about Star Trek style teleporters.

    In fact nothing like that has happened at all, if you actually listen to the BBC piece, you'll find that what has been transmitted is just information. Nothing physical has moved from the ground into space.

    There's a similarly misleading story from MIT's Technology Review.

    The sub-headline is somewhat less misleading as a photon (a "particle" of light) is not exactly an object. But even here the photon itself (one of an entangled pair of photons) did not magically jump from the ground into space. In fact it traveled there in the normal way by shining a laser up through the atmosphere to a receiver on the satellite or shining a laser from the satellite down to Earth.

    There's a much better explanation at Science Magazine:

    The confusion here comes down to terminology, as described in Wikipedia

    The reason the satellite "teleportation" is so interesting is that once the quantum information is in space it can be transmitted to other ground stations, or other satellite much more effectively with lasers due to the lack of atmosphere. This allows the creation of a large scale quantum communication network.

    What this experiment is really about is secure communication. In particular it can be used as a way for the military to transmit information in a way that would be impossible to intercept (unlike current radio transmissions). This makes it very useful to the military, and explains why the Chinese are doing so much work on it.

    It's not a Star Trek teleporter though, sorry.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  2. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    And even the Science Mag pic got my inner sci-fi fan excited with it's Quantum Leap headline...
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  3. Jared

    Jared New Member

    I think it's also worth noting that this experiment has yet to be peer-reviewed.
  4. Martin Irving

    Martin Irving New Member

    It is being peer reviewed as we speak
  5. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    this isn't the right paper? or is "science mag" one of those fake journals?
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  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It says in Science that the paper was peer reviewed. Did you mean the experiment has not been replicated?
  7. Martin Irving

    Martin Irving New Member

    I have no idea whether science mag is fake news or not, I myself do not refer to it and indeed have never heard of it till now.
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  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Science is one of the oldest, largest, and most highly respected science journals in existence.
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  9. Amber Robot

    Amber Robot Member

    Yes. It's generally considered pretty prestigious to get an article published in Science. It's typically reserved for the highest impact, most exciting results.