Chinese and Canadian scientists say they have successfully carried out a form of teleportation across an entire city.
The two teams working independently have teleported near-identical versions of tiny particles called photons through cables across Calgary in Canada and Hefei in Anhui province.
The forms of teleported photons were destroyed in one laboratory and recreated in another more than 8km apart in the two cities through optical fibre.
Similar experiments have been carried out before, but only within the same laboratory.
A physicist not involved in either of the studies said the research was a step forward in the development of a "quantum internet", a futuristic particle-based information system that could be much more secure than existing forms of digital data.
Quantum networks make eavesdropping almost impossible because the particles used cannot be observed without being altered.
Teleportation, the foundation for such a network, has largely been the realm of science fiction, and other scientists say the research is still a very long way from teleporting people or objects.
But in his commentary on the research in the scientific journal Nature Photonics, French physicist Frederic Grosshans said the two experiments clearly showed that teleportation across metropolitan distances was technologically feasible.
"The two papers demonstrate that the possibility of quantum [internet] networks that span a city are a realistic proposition, which is an exciting vision for the future," Grosshans said.