Slowly but surely inroads are being made in the field of teleportation.
A Leap for Teleporting, Between Ions Feet Apart New York Times - February 3, 2009
The contraption is a Rube Goldberg-esque mix of vacuum chambers, fiber optics, lasers and semitransparent beam splitters in a laboratory at the Joint Quantum Institute in Maryland. Even in the far future, Star Trek transporters will probably remain a fantasy, but the mechanism could form an important component in new types of communication and computing.
Quantum teleportation depends on entanglement, one of the strangest of the many strange aspects of quantum mechanics. Two particles can become entangled into a single entity, and a change in one instantaneously changes the other even if it is far away.
Previously, physicists have shown that they could use teleportation to transfer information from one photon to another or between nearby atoms. In the new research, the scientists used light to transfer quantum information between two well-separated atoms.
Present-day digital computers store information as zeroes and ones. In a future quantum computer, a single bit of information could be both zero and one at the same time. (In essence, a quantum coin toss would be both heads and tails until someone actually looked at the coin, at which time the coin instantly becomes one or the other.) In theory, a quantum computer could calculate certain types of problems much more quickly than digital computers.
In the experiment, two ytterbium ions, cooled to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, served as the two quantum coins. A microwave pulse wrote quantum information onto one; a second microwave pulse placed the ion into a state of equal probabilities of heads and tails.
A laser then induced each ion to emit exactly one photon, collected by a lens and guided through fiber optics to a beam splitter that could reflect the photons or let them pass through. Two detectors then captured and recorded the photons. Because it was not known which photon came from which atom, the photons became entangled, meaning that the behavior of the two particles became wrapped up in a single equation even though they were not in the same place. And, oddly, because the photons were emitted by the ions, the two ions also became entangled.
The information in the first ion was then measured in a way that did not reveal the information and that teleported the information to the second ion. (If that did not make any sense, take a look at this animated graphic.) By repeating the experiment many times and taking many measurements of the second ion, the researchers, from Maryland and the University of Michigan, confirmed that the second ion contained the information that had been originally written to the first ion.
The method is not particularly practical at the moment, because it fails almost all of the time. Only 1 of every 100 million teleportation attempts succeed, requiring 10 minutes to transfer one bit of quantum information.
Can you image how our lives would revolutionize if that was our mode of transportation?! It has always been a fantasy to be able to get where I need to go in a second or to have all of my children gather together for a celebration then return home in the blink of an eye - to never be in traffic or go to an airport. The list of possibilities is endless - the results always positive and negative in duality.
Visualization ... As you sit there - close your eyes. Imagine if you will, that you can teleport anywhere within this space-time continuum. Where would you go? What would you do? Do you believe you will ever have the capabilities to do this physically ... with technology or by pure thought?
Have fun and remember not to tamper with the timelines as some Crystalinks readers are far more gifted than they realize.
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