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This news article makes a wild claim about what has been achieved using a Chinese satellite.

In what is a world first, scientists have managed to teleport an object from Earth to orbit using a process called quantum entanglement.

Is this just a case of a confused journalist?

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  • Quantum entanglement is a really simple concept that has to be explained against a very hard subject, which twists the mind of a lot of people. I've found several physicists with a diploma with some difficulty in grasping the concept, and I confess that I also had issues with it for some time until it "clicked" for me. I'm not surprised if anyone misses the point of it when reading about it for the first time.
    – T. Sar
    Jul 13 '17 at 14:11
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    I think there isn't really a set definition for "teleport," even. On the IFL Science FB page, most of the reactions were "oh, a photon. It's not teleporting if it isn't matter." Jul 13 '17 at 14:15
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Sort of...

It's not really teleportation that's happening here - at least not in the way you might be imagining from sci-fi. Certainly the photon itself is not being teleported.

Rather it is the instantaneous transfer of information, which in turn directly affects a photon. This happens through the process of "quantum entanglement" (obligatory Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement)

Here's another article discussing the same experiment that explains things in more detail : http://gizmodo.com/scientists-teleport-a-particle-hundreds-of-miles-but-w-1796818859

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    It's not even the transfer of information; it can't be used for the transfer of information (because you can't tell if the photons are entangled unless you know the result of the measurement on both ends). It can be used for the verification of information.
    – antlersoft
    Jul 13 '17 at 14:48
  • At least as important as the Wikipedia link is the XKCD on Bell's theorem.Not because it contains the same level of information, but because perhaps (just maybe) some people won't immediatlly ask the next geek they meet (or Physics) about it. Jul 14 '17 at 2:32

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