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17 June, 2017

China's quantum satellite establishes photon entanglement

A team of Chinese scientists have realized the satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs over 1,200 kilometers. The photon pairs were demonstrated to be still entangled after travelling long distances.

This satellite-based technology opens up bright prospects for both practical quantum communications and fundamental quantum optics experiments at distances previously inaccessible on the ground, said Pan Jianwei, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The achievement was made based on the world' s first quantum satellite, Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), also dubbed Micius, launched by China on August 16, 2016, and was published as a cover article in the latest issue of academic journal Science.

This experiment was made through two satellite-to-ground downlinks with a total length varying from 1,600 to 2,400 kilometers. The obtained link efficiency is many times higher than that of the direct bidirectional transmission of the two photons through telecommunication fibers, said Pan, who is also the lead scientist of QUESS.

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