Beam me up, Scotty.
October 1, 2001 7:22 AM   Subscribe

Beam me up, Scotty. We might have to wait a few more years, though.
posted by ginz (16 comments total)
 
"Teleportation will not involve the wholesale deconstruction and reconstruction of humans, Star Trek-style. It should allow the arrangement of one set of quantum particles to reproduce more or less instantly that of a similar collection of distant particles. In this way a message encoded in photons of light could be transmitted from one place to another without sending the photons across the intervening space."
So I wouldnt be the same matter when I come out the other side? Could they make me skinny?
posted by outsider at 7:30 AM on October 1, 2001


I think the problem would be that you wouldn't go away on your side maybe. but then i don't know :P
posted by rhyax at 7:56 AM on October 1, 2001


Non-local transmissions. Cool.
posted by skallas at 8:06 AM on October 1, 2001


I just read the article again, and still don't get it. Must have to do with not knowing what a photon is or a set of quanticum particles. And lots of other stuff.
But I like the idea. I don't like flying, so I hope they'll hurry up.
posted by ginz at 8:06 AM on October 1, 2001


maybe we can figure out how to replicate food, like earl grey tea, and do away with world poverty.
posted by moz at 8:08 AM on October 1, 2001


Doesn't this make DSL and fibre optic redundant? Everything would be intantaneous - the Web, TV, er, well, everything. Fantastic! Pity about the matter teleportation thing though. I harbour this fantasy that instead of cramming myself into a space the size of rabbit hutch for 24 hours I could just teleport myself to Australia. One step and I'm having a Woolamaloo pie and pint of VB by the sea.
posted by Summer at 8:12 AM on October 1, 2001


maybe we can figure out how to replicate food, like earl grey tea, and do away with world poverty.

You're so right Moz. Earl Grey and battenburg for Afghanistan, that's what I say.
posted by Summer at 8:15 AM on October 1, 2001


OK... Here's an ultra-simple explanation of the process (I knew my physics degree would pay off eventually):

They have tied two clouds of atoms together, so that on one specific property of one cloud is positive, the same property for the other cloud is negative. Now, when they separate the clouds, they are still related. So, if the flip the property of the first cloud, the second cloud flips by itself, due to the magic of quantum mechanics.

So, if they could put one cloud here where I am and the other cloud where you are, then I could send messages to you by flipping the property positive and negative and you could receive them by watching your cloud flip in response to mine.

Teleportation is not a good word for it, because we use the word to mean an instant transportation of a physical object from one place to another. In this case, it's the polarity of the property that gets sent, not the physical substance itself.

They've done several breakthrough things here. First, they've tied together two clouds of atoms together instead of the prior individual atoms. Second, they've gotten the connection to last a millisecond or so instead of the prior nanosecond. There's a lot more to do, though, since you can't get the clouds very far away from each other in only a millisecond.
posted by ewagoner at 9:12 AM on October 1, 2001


due to the magic of quantum mechanics

Ah, it's magic. Now I understand. Why didn't they just say so?
posted by ginz at 9:24 AM on October 1, 2001


Summer: Let them eat cake.

Where did I leave that guillotine? :)
posted by vbfg at 9:27 AM on October 1, 2001


If they could put one cloud here where I am and the other cloud where you are, then I could send messages to you.
...
...you can't get the clouds very far away from each other in only a millisecond.

Wow. Sounds like scientific perversion lingo to me :)
posted by XiBe at 9:44 AM on October 1, 2001


I'm sorry vbfg, but what would you rather have? Essentials lik bread and meat or a delicate yellow and pink marzipan confection? Just because they from 'abroad' doesn't mean they're barbarians.
posted by Summer at 9:47 AM on October 1, 2001


Actually, forget teleportation, the coolest corollary is getting rid of that insufferable lag-time on the Interplanetary Internet. Instant messaging with your pals on Titan! Solar-system wide pr0n! Ah, the possibilities…
posted by signal at 1:17 PM on October 1, 2001


Just because they from 'abroad' doesn't mean they're barbarians.

Agreed. "From the Middle-Age" seems more appropriate.

Maybe they shouldn't mix the three powers that much...
PDF-file link, p. 173.
posted by XiBe at 1:19 PM on October 1, 2001


You're right, it'd be the battenburg cake. It is a good choice. You can either shove it right in there or peel the marzipan off the edge and eat each square individually. It's entertainment too.
posted by vbfg at 2:07 PM on October 1, 2001


Didn't these people see Cronenberg's The Fly? If a wayward fly is teleported with a man, their DNA will combine, and the man would become a freakish amalgamated creature. ...It must be stopped!
posted by Down10 at 1:35 PM on October 3, 2001


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