BEIJING, China – The Internet of Things just took another gigantic step. Chinese scientists have now successfully teleported an electron from the ground to a satellite 500 kilometers up in space.
Before we start imagining The Enterprise or the 23rd century, we shouldn’t overlook the real technological quantum leap taking place. The implications of a “Quantum Internet” are all based on the principles of entanglement and non-locality.
The real implications here are thus not for any “just around the corner” Star Trek fantasies, but rather for communications, security, and most importantly, secure financial clearing. The Chinese have also been successful in similar photon-quantum entanglement experiments before and teleporting them into space, sending and receiving them accurately 900 out of 900 times.
In practice, this means there’s no signal or noise problem, no attenuation of the signal, no loss of data, and most importantly, it’s 100% secure, because, in the amazing world of entanglement, one must know the exact waveform of the entanglement taking place. This mathematical description thus also functions as a kind of “encryption-decryption” key, making such communication methods much more secure than their current counterparts.
The implications of this technological breakthrough are profound, because, in a world where data, communications, and financial clearing are moving to space-based platforms, security and accurate data transmission are the keys, and whoever cracks the problem first will dominate the future commercial and financial world; if someone is planning to mine asteroids or have a global currency or even several regional currencies, the advantage will accrue to that power which establishes those secure quantum networks. That “key” thus functions, in the emerging world, in a way analogous to the way navies have functioned in relationship to reserve currencies thus far: the country with the most powerful navy has been the country whose currency has reserve currency status. Entanglement ensures rapid, secure and accurate transmission of data.
Now, how is teleporting an electron different from teleporting a photon (which China did in 2017)? Unlike a photon, an electron is matter, a thing, regardless of how tiny it is. The next steps in the technology tree, as we step from photons to electrons in our entanglement-teleportation experiments, will be the other sub-atomic particles, and from there (if successful), to whole atoms, then to molecules, etc. In practice, this will take decades, maybe even centuries, but anyway, we should be ready for the next technological revolution.