Teleportation over distances of a few hundred meters has previously only been accomplished with the photons traveling in fiber channels to help preserve their state. In this particular experiment, researchers maximally entangled two photons using both spatial and polarization modes and sent the one with higher energy through a ten-mile-long free space channel. They found that the distant photon was still able to respond to changes in state of the photon they held onto even at this unprecedented distance.
However, the long-distance teleportation of a photon is only a small step towards developing applications for the procedure. While photons are good at transmitting information, they are not as good as ions at allowing manipulation, an advancement we'd need for encryption. Researchers were also able to maintain the fidelity of the long-distance teleportation at 89 percent— decent enough for information, but still dangerous for the whole-body human teleportation that we're all looking forward to.
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