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China achieves quantum entanglement in space


China has successfully pulled off a new kind of internet that utilizes particle physics. This approach is completely secure and impervious to hackers.

In a ground breaking experiment led by professor Jian – Wei of Hefei University is it observed that a laser on a satellite orbiting 480 kilometres above the earth produced entangled photons. Chinese scientists have set a new distance record for beaming a pair of entangled particles: photons of light that behave like twins and experience the exact same things simultaneously, even though they’re separated by great distances. The principle used is called quantum entanglement and its one of the subatomic world’s weirdest phenomena. And now, China has smashed the distance record for quantum entanglement.

By launching a group of quantum-enabled satellites, China hopes to create a super secure network that uses an encryption technique on the principles of a field called quantum communication. The reason why these can’t be hacked is because the information carried in the quantum state of a particle cannot be measured or cloned without destroying the information itself. Professor Ping Koy Lam from ANU’s Department of Quantum Science said that they can prove that this kind of quantum encryption works in a city radius or at most between two nearby cities.

However China believes that space allows photons to travel further without disruption because in space there’s nothing to attenuate light. In their latest experiment, both stations which received the photons were in the mountains of Tibet, at a height that reduced the amount of air the fragile photons has to traverse.

Quantum technology has been a major focus of China’s five-year economic development plan, released in March 2016. China has not disclosed how much they spent on this Quantum research, but fund raising for basic research was $US 101 billion in 2015.

China’s ongoing progress will be watched and observed closely by security agencies around the world.