China’s Quantum Satellite Dispatches Transmissions Over a Record Distance of 1,200 Kilometres
A Chinese satellite sent quantum transmissions over a distance of 1,200 km (746 miles), twelve times as far as the previous record, a breakthrough in technology that could be used to provide secure messages, the state media said Friday.
China launched the world’s first quantum satellite in August to help establish “pirate” communications between space and land, according to state media at the time.
The feat opens up “good prospects” for quantum communications, said Pan Jianwei, chief scientist of the Chinese team, quantum space experiments (Quess), according to Xinhua news agency.
Scientists have exploited the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, in which a particle can instantly affect a distant twin, exceeding a certain long distance between them, a situation called “distant action of fear” by the award-winning physical physicist Nobel Albert Einstein, to Xinhua added.
The team was able to distribute pairs of interlaced photons over 1200 km, he said, exceeding the distance of 100 km (62 miles), where the plot had been achieved.
The technology so far is “the only way to establish secure keys between two distant places on earth without relying on reliable relaying,” Pan Xinhua said, referring to encrypted messages.
The new development “illustrates the possibility of a future global quantum communication network,” said Science magazine, which published the results of the Chinese team on its site.
China is still behind the United States and Russia in the field of space technology, although President Xi Jinping prioritized the advancement of its space program, citing national security and defense.
China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States Department of Defense showed its growing spatial capabilities, saying it pursued activities aimed at preventing opponents from using space-in-crisis resources.
The launch of China’s first quantum experimental satellite was a “remarkable progress in cryptography research,” the Pentagon said this month.