China’s Top Ten S&T News Events in 2010: Quantum teleportation achieved over 16 km

Top ten S&T news events in China, voted out by 557 academicians at Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering for 2010, were announced on January 19, 2011 in Beijing.

1. Successful launch of Chang'e-II, a lunar probe satellite, and the start of China’s moon probe project
2. China’s Tianhe-1 becomes the fastest supercomputer in the world
3. China’s manned deep-water submersible hit the record of 3,700m
4. Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail laid
5. Breakthrough in genetic rice breeding
6. Protein’s new cancer-causing mechanism revealed
7. Experimental fast reactor became critical for the first time
8. 16km free-space quantum teleportation achieved
9. Giant panda’s genome released
10. Commercial application of olefin coal gasification technology

The USTC-Tsinghua joint team has successfully realized 16-kilometer long-range quantum teleportation, the longest in the world at present and over 20 times the previous world record. This result demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of long-range quantum teleportation in free space, thereby accomplishing a major step toward the eventual realization of a global quantum communication network. The June 1st issue of Nature Photonics reported this study in its cover story “Experimental free-space quantum teleportation”? [Nature Photonics 4, 376-381 (2010)].

Experimental free-space quantum teleportation
Nature Photonics 4, 376 - 381 (2010)  Published online: 16 May 2010 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2010.87
Quantum teleportation is central to the practical realization of quantum communication. Although the first proof-of-principle demonstration was reported in 1997 by the Innsbruck and Rome groups, long-distance teleportation has so far only been realized in fibre with lengths of hundreds of metres. An optical free-space link is highly desirable for extending the transfer distance, because of its low atmospheric absorption for certain ranges of wavelength. By following the Rome scheme, which allows a full Bell-state measurement, we report free-space implementation of quantum teleportation over 16 km. An active feed-forward technique has been developed to enable real-time information transfer. An average fidelity of 89%, well beyond the classical limit of 2/3, is achieved. Our experiment has realized all of the non-local aspects of the original teleportation scheme and is equivalent to it up to a local unitary operation. Our result confirms the feasibility of space-based experiments, and is an important step towards quantum-communication applications on a global scale.

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