A Giant Quantum Leap

Chinese scientists have established a quantum entanglement between particles 1200 kilometres apart, smashing the previous world record of 143 kilometres.

In early 2016, China announced a successful transmission of “entangled” photon pairs from space to the Earth, which proves that quantum entanglement exists at a large distance.

The result is a stepping stone to ultrasecure communication networks and, eventually, a space-based quantum internet.

The study was published as a cover story by the U.S. journal Science on Friday.

What is quantum entanglement?

Quantum entanglement occurs when a pair of photons interact physically in the opposite manner at a large distance.

The entanglement phenomenon also involves putting objects in the peculiar limbo of quantum superposition, in which an object’s quantum properties can occupy multiple states at once: both here and there, both dead and alive at the same time. And these multiple quantum states can be shared among multiple objects.

So if entangled objects are separated, their precarious quantum states should remain linked until one of them is measured or disturbed. That measurement instantly determines the state of the other object, no matter how far away.

It means the communication speed that is faster than light is possible, and one-day humans might also be able o communicate with one another over massive distances, and instantly. Such implication troubled Einstein, as it is in direct violation of his Relativity.

However, as Chinese have long observed, comprehended and described, yin-yang balance is achieved constantly and consistently in motion, otherwise, the reality would collapse, while the same taichi core is a holographic existence in each piece of and at all levels in the universe.

Quantum entanglement and quantum computer

The basics of a quantum computer include processing data with ‘qubits’ (quantum particles), not a common binary system, which allows photons (particles of qubit) to exist in multiple states at the same time, so instead of being stored as either 0 or 1, it can be both 0 and 1. This can bring a quantum leap in computing speed.

The unique, long distance and constant entanglement also point to the possibility of hack-proof communications.

Usually, hackers perform cyber attacks by intervening within the system through transmitted signals. Quantum computer can be a game changer because the entanglement doesn’t require transmission.

Further, two parties can exchange secret messages by sharing an encryption key encoded in the properties of entangled particles. Any eavesdropper would affect the entanglement and so be detected.

Efforts to prove quantum entanglement

Ever since the 1970s, physicists began testing the quantum entanglement effect. In 2015, a test, which involved measuring entangled electrons 1.3 kilometres apart, demonstrates that such a correlation is real.

Yet efforts to entangle quantum particles, such as photons, have been limited to about 100 km, mostly because the entanglement is lost when transmitted along optical fibres or through open space.

A Chinese satellite for quantum entanglement research

Last August the Chinese Academy of Sciences put an experimental satellite into orbit.

The satellite, with a design life of two years, was the world’s first satellite launched to do quantum experiments, which is officially known as Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), also known as Mozi, after the Chinese philosopher 墨子 (470BC-391BC), believed to be the first person conducted optical experiments in the world.

Central to QUESS’s experiments is a laser beam mounted on the Micius satellite. The beam was split to generate pairs of photons that share a common quantum state, in this case, related to polarization. The entangled photons were funnelled into two onboard telescopes that fired them at separate stations on the ground: one in Delingha in northwest China’s Qinghai Province and another in Lijiang in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

The team found that all pairs of the photons were still entangled. This proves that quantum communication at continental distances can be achieved.

What’s next?

The next step in developing a global network is reportedly to test quantum key distribution and to establish a quantum connection between China and a ground station in Vienna.

According to the Chinese research team, over the next five years, more satellites with capabilities identical to Micius are planned for launch.

China is not the only country to perform such experiments but is the first to go that far. Teams from Canada, Germany, Austria, Singapore and other countries also have plans for quantum space experiments.



Lawrence Kedz (Jun 19, 2017)
This one may take hours to merely establish an overview? I’ll try to find some time because science still tugs at my heart at times. But I had realized when I’d left, it was an all or nothing proposition. Thanks for the memories, and for showing me that I still believe I’ve made the right decision almost 20 years ago.

All Things Chinese
I’m truly truly excited by this breakthrough 😅

Quantum physics is a way to rescue modern science from becoming a religion, that places blind faith in our own selective, omissive, rigid and biased brain activity called “logical reasoning”, a single dimensional thinking path, and their external physical extensions.

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