Physicists have carried out successful teleportation with particles of light over a distance of 600m across the River Danube in Austria.
When physicists say "teleportation", they are describing the transfer of key properties from one particle to another without a physical link. Quantum teleportation relies on an aspect of physics known as "entanglement"; whereby the properties of two particles can be tied together even when they are far apart. Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance".
Long distance teleportation is crucial if dreams of superfast quantum computing are to be realised.
"The really interesting question for us was whether we could do this outside a lab setting, in the environment used for today's fibre-optic communications," co-author Rupert Ursin of the University of Vienna told BBC News Online. "This is very important if you are talking about investing money in quantum communication."
Quantum teleportation could be harnessed for fast, powerful computers or communication networks.
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