Beaming people through space as they did in Star Trek may be a long way off, but physicists in Denmark may have brought it a step closer to reality, managing to teleport information between two different objects for the first time.

Scientists have previously been able toteleport subatomic information from similar objects such as light particles or single atoms over short distances in a split-second.

Now Eugene Polzik and his team at theNiels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have managed toilluminate a cloud of atoms with light teleported from ahalf-metre away.

"It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik told Reuters news agency as the study was published in the Oct. 5 issue of the journal Nature.

Teleporting an object would involve gathering detailed information about its subatomic particles and transmitting this information to recreate the object perfectly. The original would be destroyed in the process.

Polzik said it should be possible to duplicate the result over longer distances.

The breakthrough could eventually lead to the development of faster, secure computers and communications, Polzik said.