Teleporting, but not as we know it – Scientists Crack Quantum Teleportation

star trek teleport

Over the last couple of days, the press and scientific community have been all astir following the news that Dutch scientist Ronald Hanson of Delft University has successfully cracked what is known as quantum teleportation.

As the name suggests, quantum teleportation takes place on a tiny scale, with small amounts of information transferred instantaneously between electrons, though already, journalists have leapt at the chance to speculate about the possibilities it could ultimately open up for Star Trek-style human teleportation.

While not outright denying that such large scale matter transfer could potentially happen, however, scientists have been quick to caution excited sci-fi fans against expecting anything like this just yet. In fact, the kind of teleportation achieved by Hanson’s experiments does not actually involve transporting matter at all. Instead, data is encoded in the spin of an electron and transferred to an electron in another, physically distant object through a phenomenon called entanglement. If it all still sounds very confusing, The New York Times is featuring a handy little diagram with captions that explain things a bit more clearly.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean the news is only interesting if you’re a quantum physicist: this breakthrough could have a potentially huge impact on all of us and the technology we use in our everyday lives. Through quantum transportation, online communication could become literally instantaneous, and many of the security problems we currently face on the internet could be eliminated, with hackers left unable to intercept data on the journey between sender and recipient.

Of course, if you’d rather not let the truth get in the way of a good story, Prof. Hanson’s own comments might help to renew your optimism:

“If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another. In practice it’s extremely unlikely, but to say it can never work is very dangerous. I would not rule it out because there’s no fundamental law of physics preventing it.”

So there you have it. One day, you might well be taking a quantum leap of your own…..just not using this technology.

Sources: Elite Daily | Policy Mic | New York Times

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