Scientists Just Took A Major Step Toward Star Trek's Transporter Technology

While being able to say "Beam me up Scotty" to a heavy drinking science officer on the deck of a space ship is a long way off - science has taken what may be the first step towards teleportation.

Chinese researchers published a study last month that showed that they were able to send or beam a photon over 300 miles to a satellite. They did this through the method of quantum entanglement. What's that? I'm going to let Quanta Magazine explain:

Entanglement is often regarded as a uniquely quantum-mechanical phenomenon, but it is not. In fact, it is enlightening, though somewhat unconventional, to consider a simple non-quantum (or “classical”) version of entanglement first. This enables us to pry the subtlety of entanglement itself apart from the general oddity of quantum theory.

Entanglement arises in situations where we have partial knowledge of the state of two systems. For example, our systems can be two objects that we’ll call c-ons. The “c” is meant to suggest “classical,” but if you’d prefer to have something specific and pleasant in mind, you can think of our c-ons as cakes.

OK... I'm not sure that helped much either.

Here's a bit of easier explanation via the Youtube channel Veritasium:

Either way - the ability to send a anything more than a photon anywhere is a long way off. What it will be used in the very near future for is sending information that cannot be seen heard of read. Perfect for spies. I'm sure we'll be seeing it in the plot of the next Mission Impossible or James Bond film. Wait... was that what Quantum of Solace was all about?