Ground-to-satellite quantum teleportation

Date: 2017-09-07
Authors Ji-Gang Ren, Ping Xu, Hai-Lin Yong, Liang Zhang, Sheng-Kai Liao, Juan Yin, Wei-Yue Liu, Wen-Qi Cai, Meng Yang, Li Li, Kui-Xing Yang, Xuan Han, Yong-Qiang Yao, Ji Li, Hai-Yan Wu, Song Wan, Lei Liu, Ding-Quan Liu, Yao-Wu Kuang, Zhi-Ping He, Peng Shang, Chen
Journal No. Nature 549, 70 (2017)
Abstract An arbitrary unknown quantum state cannot be measured precisely or replicated perfectly. However, quantum teleportation enables unknown quantum states to be transferred reliably from one object to another over long distances, without physical travelling of the object itself. Long-distance teleportation is a fundamental element of protocols such as large-scale quantum networks and distributed quantum computation. But the distances over which transmission was achieved in previous teleportation experiments, which used optical fibres and terrestrial free-space channels, were limited to about 100 kilometres, owing to the photon loss of these channels. To realize a global-scale ‘quantum internet’ the range of quantum teleportation needs to be greatly extended. A promising way of doing so involves using satellite platforms and space-based links, which can connect two remote points on Earth with greatly reduced channel loss because most of the propagation path of the photons is in empty space. Here we report quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low-Earth-orbit satellite, through an uplink channel, over distances of up to 1,400 kilometres. To optimize the efficiency of the link and to counter the atmospheric turbulence in the uplink, we use a compact ultra-bright source of entangled photons, a narrow beam divergence and high-bandwidth and high-accuracy acquiring, pointing and tracking. We demonstrate successful quantum teleportation of six input states in mutually unbiased bases with an average fidelity of 0.80 ± 0.01, well above the optimal state-estimation fidelity on a single copy of a qubit (the classical limit). Our demonstration of a ground-to-satellite uplink for reliable and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation is an essential step towards a global-scale quantum internet.