TELEPORTATION may be around the corner after physicists made a huge breakthrough in the sci-fi method.
A team of Chinese scientists have, for the first time, sent information between entangled particles through sea water.
The practice is known as quantum communication – or quantum teleportation – and in the experiment, scientists sent information across a 3.3 metre tank of water, although the experts behind the research believe that they can eventually extend the distance to more than half a mile.
The research is important because quantum communication is un-hackable and the underwater aspect means that in the future, the likes of submarines will be able to send information and messages to other submarines which cannot be intercepted by a rival.
Earlier this year, a group of scientists managed to teleport a particle into a satellite in orbit.
However water can scatter particles, making it more difficult for them to travel through the liquid.
The world of quantum physics is notoriously tricky and even the world’s top physicists struggle to grasp it.
One of the most baffling subjects is that observing a quantum particle causes its state to seemingly change in what is known as the ‘observer effect’ – something that Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”.
Quantum objects always match up with another – no matter where each object, a photon in this instance, is in the universe.
The photons are “entangled” which means that they were created at the exact same moment.
If one of the photons is measured, the other is influenced simultaneously, even if they are in opposite ends of the universe.
This is what scientists describe teleportation as.
The major breakthrough could be used for ultra-high speed internet and communication in the future.
Separate particles were placed at each end of the tank, and despite the body of fluid between them, they could accurately communicate the information 98 per cent of the time.
The researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University write in the journal The Optical Society: “Our results confirm the feasibility of a seawater quantum channel, representing the first step towards underwater quantum communication.”