Scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China and Tsinghua University have managed to stream quantum information over 16 km, bringing geeks this much closer to achieving their wildest Star Trek dreams.
What is quantum teleportation, you ask? Basically, it’s connecting two photons in a way that when one photon is changed, the other changes simultaneously, allowing for information to be transported between the two without using signals or networks. The protons in this case interacted with “89% fidelity,” meaning that there’s a few more tests necessarily before anything can seriously be “beamed” anywhere.
While it may be a few generations before we can attempt matter teleportation (i.e. people, i.e. “Beam me up, Scotty), this technology may be able to transform communications by connecting long distances without traditional signal interference.
Perhaps you stopped caring at “Star Trek,” but this development shows that China is trying to kick-butt economically AND technologically. The budget for 2010 is set to rise 8% to 163.3 billion RMB, so who knows what other final frontier-esque inventions we’ll see next?