Scientists achieve reliable quantum teleportation for first time

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Albert Einstein once told a friend that quantum mechanics doesn’t hold water in his scientific world view because “physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance.” That spooky action at a distance is entanglement, a quantum phenomenon in which two particles, separated by any amount of distance, can instantaneously affect one another as if part of a unified system.

Now, scientists have successfully hijacked that quantum weirdness — doing so reliably for the first time — to produce what many sci-fi fans have long dreamt up: teleportation. No, not beaming humans aboard the USS Enterprise, but the teleportation of data.

Physicists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, part of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, report that they sent quantum data concerning the spin state of an electron to another electron about 10 feet away. Quantum teleportation has been recorded in the past, but the results in this study have an unprecedented replication rate of 100 percent at the current distance, the team said.

Thanks to the strange properties of entanglement, this allows for that data — only quantum data, not classical information like messages or even simple bits — to be teleported seemingly faster than the speed of light. The news was reported first by The New York Times on Thursday, following the publication of a paper in the journal Science.

Proving Einstein wrong about the purview and completeness of quantum mechanics is not just an academic boasting contest. Proving the existence of entanglement and teleportation — and getting experiments to… FINISH READING ON C|NET

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