China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Radar is a powerful military tool because it makes it possible to spot enemy aircraft beyond the line of sight. It does this by sending out a burst of radio energy, which bounces back when it encounters another object. So-called “stealth” aircraft try to get around this by becoming invisible to radar — either by using flat, angular shapes to reflect radar signals away from radar equipment or by using materials which absorb radar signals.

So far, so old news, right? Perhaps so, but things could be about to change if a new report coming out of China proves to be correct. At a recent air show in the city of Zhuhai, state-owned Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation displayed what it claims to be a quantum radar that’s able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. The company claims to have been working on the technology for years, and to have tested it for the first time in 2015.

In principle, a quantum radar functions like a regular radar — only that instead of sending out a single beam of electromagnetic energy, it uses two split streams of entangled photons. Only one of these beams is sent out, but due to a quirk of quantum physics both streams will display the same changes, despite being potentially miles apart. As a result, by looking at the stream which remains back home it’s possible to work out what has happened to the other beam.

According to a brochure from the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, the new quantum radar could “solve the traditional bottleneck [of] detection of low observable target detection, survival under electronic warfare conditions, [and] platform load limitations.”

What’s less clear is whether this is real functioning technology or an example of the Chinese government bragging about some technology which does not yet exist. “Without being able to take the lid off what has been shown here, we can’t be sure if this is an elaborate hoax,” Alan Woodward, a professor of physics at the U.K.’s University of Surrey, told New Scientist.

The demonstration was only available to Chinese media, and foreign press — including a reporter for the publication Aviation Week — were asked to leave. Still, if this does turn out to be legit, it will represent a game changer in the world of stealth aircraft.

Mobile

First phone specs reveal premium is the path for Vivo spinoff Iqoo

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. Excitingly, details about its first phone are slowly being released.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Emerging Tech

The Great White Shark’s genome has been decoded, and it could help us end cancer

In a significant step for marine and genetic science, researchers have decoded the genome of the great white shark. The genetic code revealed a wealth of insight into what makes these creatures so successful from an evolutionary standpoint.
Emerging Tech

‘Guerrilla rainstorm’ warning system aims to prevent soakings, or worse

Japanese researchers have created a "guerrilla rainstorm" early-warning system aimed at preventing severe soakings, or worse. The team hopes to launch the system before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Mobile

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Emerging Tech

Japanese spacecraft will collect a sample from asteroid Ryugu by shooting at it

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 will soon touch down on the asteroid Ryugu, where it will collect a sample by shooting a bullet into the soil. The sample will be returned to Earth in 2020 to learn about the formation of asteroids.
Emerging Tech

Hong Kong’s vision for a smart prison is a full-blown Orwellian nightmare

Hong Kong wants to bring prisons up to date by introducing new location-tracking wristbands for inmates, and a robot arm whose job is to comb through poop on the lookout for contraband.
Emerging Tech

No faking! Doctors can now objectively measure how much pain you’re in

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered the blood biomarkers that can objectively reveal just how much pain a patient is in. Here's why that's so important.
Emerging Tech

SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla

What do you get if you combine a Tesla, a flying car, and a sleek boat? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French "flying" boat startup which offers a fresh spin on the hydrofoil.
Emerging Tech

We tried a $500 electronic dab rig, and now we can’t go back to normal vaporizers

Induction heating is the future of cannabis vaporizers. Loto Labs wowed us with what likely is the best concentrate vaporizer on the market today. With a $500 price tag, it's expensive, but it should definitely be your next dab rig.
Emerging Tech

Israel will launch the world’s first privately-funded moon mission tomorrow

This week will see the world's first privately funded lunar mission launch. Israel's first mission to the moon will be launched aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, February 21.