Scientists were absolutely floored by a groundbreaking discovery that could change our understanding of quantum physics.
An astonishing discovery by a Chinese satellite circling the Earth could have major ramifications for not only our understanding of quantum physics, but could also revolutionize secure communications here on Earth. The satellite was able to beam pairs of entangled photons, or light particles, to two separate locations on Earth, and they remained connected despite being separated by 746 miles on the ground.
This “spooky” effect is called quantum entanglement, and it could lead to the creation of some sort of mega-encryption that would make communications nearly impossible to crack. This “spooky action at a distance,” as some are calling it, would be like if you flipped two coins and no matter where on Earth they landed, one would end up heads and the other tails. That means you could know whether the other one was heads or tails by simply flipping your own coin.
This discovery would not only enhance our understanding of quantum mechanics and physics, but also allow us to create coded messages that if they were intercepted, it would disrupt the entanglement and alert the two people in communication of a breach.
“Quantum communication scientists have a fundamental interest in distributing entangled particles over increasingly long distances and studying the behavior of entanglement under extreme conditions,” reads the statement from the University of Science and Technology of China. “So far, entanglement distribution has only been achieved at a distance up to ~100 km due to photon loss in optical fibers or terrestrial free space.
“Distributed entangled photons are readily useful for entanglement-based quantum key distribution, which, so far, is the only way to establish secure keys between two distant locations on Earth without relying on trustful relay. Another immediate application is to exploit distributed entanglement to perform a variant of quantum teleportation protocol for remote preparation and control of quantum states.”