European scientists claim to have teleported quantum information across a three metre space.

The breakthrough has been reported in the journal Science, and researchers say it both challenged a fundamental quantum theory and brings the next generation of atom-processing computers a little closer.

This is no Star Trek transporter 'beaming', but rather the instant transmission of the ‘spin state’ information of an electron across space, without moving the matter to which the information was attached.

The experiment sought to take advantage of what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”, which describes the ability of two ‘entangled’ quantum particles to mimic each other identically, changing instantly even when split by distance of metres, kilometres or light-years.

“There is a big race going on between five or six groups to prove Einstein wrong,” said Ronald Hanson, a physicist who led the recent project.

The process is explained in more detail, here.

The physicists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology say they will now try to expand the distance, teleporting information across a kilometre or more.