In the past, scientists have had trouble separating entangled particles by more than several hundred yards; the particles become un-entangled, and what happens to one particle doesn't happen to the other particle.
In their new experiment, the Chinese scientists managed a quantum leap forward for quantum teleportation.
Using a blue laser, a semiconductor, and a beta-barium borate crystal, the scientists first entangled two photons of light. Next, they sent one photon, which had slightly more energy, through about 10 miles of free space, from Beijing to a site in nearby Hebei province. When one photon changed its polarization, the other entangled photon changed its polarization as well.
The sheer distance the Chinese scientists teleported a photon's information is very impressive, said Benjamin Schumacher, a physicist at Kenyon College who reviewed the Nature Photonics paper but wasn't involved in the research.
Ten miles is far enough to start thinking about a next-generation satellite communications network based on quantum teleportation, said both Schumacher and Peng.