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Chinese researchers recently announced a landmark advancement: They used a satellite orbiting Earth to beam pairs of quantum-entangled photons to two Tibetan mountaintops more than 700 miles apart. This distance blew the previous record out of the water. But according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, this is only the beginning for quantum communication.
The idea behind quantum communication has been around since the 1960s. It involves using quantum-entangled photons to send encrypted messages. Messages are encoded through a method called quantum key distribution that enables the laws of physics to protect the information being delivered. This means if anyone intercepts and alters the message, the photons' properties will be changed as well, and this would be obvious to the recipient. But scientists are hindered by their ability to produce large numbers of entangled photons that can travel long distances. The...
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