Teleportation finally?
June 17, 2002 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Teleportation finally? Not quite "beam me up scotty" yet, but a definite surge forward. The mechanics of it aren't quite sophisticated enough yet to handle humans, but this does make quantum computers close to reality.
posted by Espoo2 (12 comments total)

 
Here are a couple of other links I enjoyed on this topic: "Quantum Entanglement and Teleportation" (part of a site on "the physics governing Star Trek") and this page at Caltech.

Thanks to your post, Espoo2, I also found the informative page at IBM.
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:17 PM on June 17, 2002


even if we can't mannage to teleport anything other than lasers, this is going to make network routing somthing else entirely. wow.
posted by hob at 7:29 PM on June 17, 2002


Let's hope this helps the prices of my bandwidth decrease a little but with this surge in technological advancement. Highly unlikely, but one may hope...
posted by spidre at 7:55 PM on June 17, 2002


On the BBC report, I like how they sneak in the small fact that:

Quantum teleporting is problematic for humans because the original is destroyed in the process of creating the replica.

But, if you don't mind being eradicated, this may be a great way to travel. Problematic? Heh.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:31 PM on June 17, 2002


Yeah, gotta love the classic British understatement.
posted by Monk at 9:39 PM on June 17, 2002


the original is destroyed in the process of creating the replica.

Well...*puts on spectacles*... yes and no.

In the case of teleporting electrons, the properties of the "original" electron are transferred to the "teleported" electron.

However, in physics, ALL electrons are the same - they dont have unique identities. There's no way to tell two electrons apart.

This once led John Wheeler to speculate that there, in fact, was only one electron in the universe, zipping forwards and backwards in time so it appears to be multiple electrons. When its moving forward in time, we call it an electron; backward in time we call it a positron.

Looked at this way, an electron and a positron dont annihilate each other when they meet, rather thats the point at which the electron reverses its movement through time. This notation was proposed by Feynman and is used still in Feynman diagrams.
posted by vacapinta at 9:52 PM on June 17, 2002


But, if you don't mind being eradicated, this may be a great way to travel. Problematic? Heh.

sorta... the original quantum state of the first entangled object is destroyed by the act of measuring it, but when that quantum measurement is applied to the second entangled object it assumes the state of the first object. as i understand it, anyhow.

the informational equivalent of this is: you (in new york) and your friend, visiting from san francisco, get a matched set of Magic Boxes. your friend takes one Magic Box back to san francisco with her. the next day, you put a note in your Magic Box, and look at the reading on the LED on the front of the Magic Box. you take the reading from the LED and send it to your friend by email; she punches the number into the Magic Box, opens it and takes out the note, which she then reads.

the problem, as i'm sure you've already spotted, is that if you can send her email with the LED readout, you could probably have just sent her the stupid note by email. whether the note is destroyed and re-created is kind of a fundamentally unanswerable question, i think; it depends on whether you believe there's more to you than a quantum state. the real problem with teleporting people, i think, is that it's hard to entangle them.

the really cool thing about this involves (a) the question of whether you can manage to send more information over the entangled link than is required for the position-parameters (ie, whether we might be able to transmit the quantum position of a terabyte of data with one kilobyte of coordinate data), and (b) the fact that what is being sent is actually a perfect analog copy of the information being transmitted, not a digital simulation.

if you could work this trick with non-coherent light, for example, you could (to use a trivial example) get real honest-to-god sunlight to shine through your ceiling. or, you could use it to transmit very high precision data, like from your CPU to your RAM cache without having to cross any lossy old wires in between.

at least, this is how i understand the whole thing. i could be off. anybody understand this better than i?
posted by hob at 10:04 PM on June 17, 2002


so could these lead to deserts becoming light farms? exporting to the UK where we could use the sunshine?
posted by Frasermoo at 3:54 AM on June 18, 2002


canberra! (brisbane :)
posted by kliuless at 6:49 AM on June 18, 2002


so could these lead to deserts becoming light farms? exporting to the UK where we could use the sunshine?

why d'you think austrailians are working on it?
posted by hob at 8:29 AM on June 18, 2002


Interesting info there, Vacapinta and Hob.

Tampering in God's domain is fun!

I see complex scuffles about the location of the soul and the composition of the self in our future.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:07 AM on June 18, 2002


Man...I sure feel *dumb* compared to you other commenters here... :-)

Positron, electron...it's all good!
posted by davidmsc at 6:22 PM on June 18, 2002


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