Image copyrightvladimir_nImage caption Lasers help generate a Quantum state that changes when anyone eavesdrops on it China has successfully sent "hack-proof" messages from a satellite to Earth for the first time.
Complicated optics on the Chinese satellite protect messages with entangled photons - sub-atomic particles of light manipulated so that some of their key properties are dependent on each other.
By encoding a key to encrypt data using entangled photons, it becomes possible to send messages confident that they have reached a recipient free of interference.
Image copyrightkynnyImage caption Fibre-optic cables can speed light but signals have to be boosted over long distances "That, for instance, can meet the demand of making an absolute safe phone call or transmitting a large amount of bank data," he said.
The Micius test was one of several experiments "bringing the concept of a global quantum internet closer to fruition", wrote Robert Bedington, Juan Miguel Arrazola and Alexander Ling in a review article in the journal Nature .
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