23 April, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge: T Stands For: Teleportation

Teleportation usually comes across as a science fiction mechanism of traveling interstellar distances instantaneously, between planets, from ships, to bases, and etc. But while it isn't as grand or as immediately obvious as a person being teleported across space, quantum teleportation (a bit different from transfer of actual matter) has been done by scientists.


Quantum teleportation, also called entanglement-assisted teleportation, is when a unit of quantum information or "qubit" is transmitted from one place to another, without that qubit crossing the space between the two points. It doesn't physically transport any matter or information, and no particles are reassembled at the second location.


Scientists are capable of doing this because of quantum entanglement, which is when particles are linked to each other even when physically separated, share a single quantum state, and remain in quantum superposition (the idea the particles can be two things at the same time--this links to the idea of Schroedinger's cat of being both alive and dead) until a measurement is taken. Because the particles are entangled, and in two states at once, in theory the measurement of one would immediately affect the other, faster than the speed of light. Albert Einstein called this "spooky action at a distance".


Some uses for this technology? Quantum teleportation could be used for communications. It could allow transmission of large amounts of information, speed up quantum computation, and perform tasks impossible for classical systems.

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Sources:
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1874760,00.html
http://www.livescience.com/7647-teleportation-milestone-achieved.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleportation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_teleportation
http://www.jqi.umd.edu/news/211-entanglement-with-frequency-combs.html
http://www.research.ibm.com/physicsofinfo/members/teleportation.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/#2
http://www.quantum.at/research/quantum-teleportation-communication-entanglement/first-quantum-teleportation.html
http://www.quantiki.org/wiki/Quantum_communication

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Do you think we'll be using quantum technology in the relatively near future? Do you think teleportation will ever reach the point where people, or even just macroscopic objects, could be transported from one place to the other?

And please, PLEASE don't quote Star Trek. I've read enough articles researching this post with the phrase stuck in there somewhere. :P

-----The Golden Eagle

41 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I read about this when they first conducted the tests. Think it will greatly assist with communications, although I doubt people will ever teleport.
And instead of Star Trek, I could quote something from my book instead!

mooderino said...

The thing I've never understood about the cat expt, just because you don't know whether the cat's dead or alive, why does that mean it's both?

If I spin a coin and keep it covered is it both heads and tails? That's how I view it and can't figure where I'm going wrong. Little help?

mood
Moody Writing

the writing pad said...

Wow - I call it spooky close up ... Anything that helps my internet connection would be good. Re the cat thing, I suppose, although it can be both dead or alive, if you don't know, the thing it can't be is neither? Somehow, I doubt I've got that right ...
Thanks as always for a brain-stretching post :-)

N. R. Williams said...

I do believe we will use it. My grandmother lived to be 104. She was once asked what had changed the most. Having been born in 1886, her answer was travel. From horse drawn buggies to airplanes and spaceships. For us communication and computers are shaping our lives now and will most likely change the most. I do hope we save the Earth.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Carole Anne Carr said...

I'm hoping to live long enough for this to happen!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm pretty skeptical of macro teleportation but who knows. At the rate science is advancing those of us alive may even see it.

Heather said...

I'm not sure if we'll ever be able to do it with living matter because of the complexity, but I can see us teleporting non-living things someday.

Kris Kaumeyer said...

Before we see teleportation, I'm sure we'll see nano technology transport objects, like a fax machine.

Gail said...

I am all for teleportaion of people...talk about saving fuel!

I am also ready for a food replicator to come on line.

mshatch said...

I hope we will - it would be pretty damn cool if we could. But it would be cooler if I was still here to see it :)

Lauracea said...

You know like elevators getting stuck? I can just imagine getting stuck teleporting half way between A - B LOL (and then arriving three hours late with all the bits in the wrong place).
No. Not people or things. But communications I suppose. Why not?

Carol Kilgore said...

Fascinating. I understand very little of this, but the subject itself is fascinating.

Happy Weekend!

Old Kitty said...

I like how something like this was used in the Willa Wonka film remake (the one with Johnny Depp)! Teleportation of Chocolate!!!! Just reach out and through your tv screens et voila!!! A whole bar of chocolate!

And no beaming up involved!! :-) Take care
x

Monti said...

With the price of gas rising so rapidly, I hope we can figure out the teleportation of people really fast. That would go a long way toward solving the problems in the middle east!

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

Milo James Fowler said...

You mean, "Beam me--" Oh, my bad. =]

Michael Di Gesu said...

What an intriguing thought. How cool would this be.


Happy Easter, Golden.

Clarissa Draper said...

I think some human has to figure this stuff out because the TSA are driving me insane!

Flying high in the sky.... said...

very interesting!

brave chickens said...

Kinda irrelevant, but I'd love teleportation as a superpower. :D

Jen Daiker said...

I would love to teleport!!! Actually I would prefer to apparate because that would mean I could get into Hogwarts.

Medeia Sharif said...

After watching the movie THE FLY a couple of times, I'm sort of scared of this.

Alleged Author said...

I would love to have the ability to teleport. BUT...in some movies, pieces of people splice off or are rearranged. Dunno if I'd like THAT part. :P

Edith F. said...

Einstein got it right: The only word I have for this is spooky. I had no idea that teleportation had any real-life relevance!

~Edith

Niki said...

It would be quite exciting if people could be teleported. I don't think I would want to be though hehe :)

Trisha said...

I want to teleport!!!

Lynda R Young said...

We should call it Saad: spooky action at a distance. So cool. I can't see why, given time, we won't use this tech in the future.

Nas Dean said...

Fascinating post! Thanks for sharing!

Ellie said...

Fascinating post. Will we ever use it? Emmm...I'm 50:50 on that one.

Ellie Garratt

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The Golden Eagle said...

Alex: I'm not so sure people will every teleport--as for other objects visible to the eye, I think we'll just have to see if there are any technological breakthroughs.

Mood: Okay . . . here we go.

Schroedinger's Cat and superposition have to do with the role of the observer--the theory is that if someone is observing and measuring (a consciousness) the quantum state of the wavefunction (probability that the particle is in a certain state) then that consciousness causes it to "collapse" or fall into one of the probabilities.

How that's different from just observing a coin or watching a cat (after all, realistically something can't be both alive and dead) is a subject of debate. Some people say that when a wavefuntion collapses it's because of quantum decoherence, which only gives the appearance of the collapse but actually has nothing to do with the observer.

Others say the wavefunction collapses into every single possible state, with each state becoming a separate reality/universe.

I just used the Copenhagen Interpretation (consciousness causes collapse) because that's probably the most widely-accepted view at this point. That could change.

Er . . . did that help?

Karla: LOL. I wouldn't mind having faster and better Internet, either. :D

Anytime!

Nancy: I do agree--maybe not immediately, but someday.

Wow. She lived for a long time! She must have been one tough lady. :)

Me, too. Earth takes a lot from humanity . . .

Carole: I hope I do, too!

Charles: I'm skeptical as well--information, quite possibly, but visible objects, maybe sometime in the future. Much less living things.

Heather: I agree!

Kris: Nanotechnology is fascinating--PBS NOVA did a cool program called "Making Stuff Smaller" about it.

Gail: And with energy so costly, traveling instantaneously would be nice. :P

Me, too. LOL.

Mshatch: Who knows! Teleportation of macroscopic objects might be off in the future, but maybe the Quantum Internet will become reality. :D

The Golden Eagle said...

Lauracea: LOL. That would be scary--half your atoms in one place, half of them elsewhere!

I agree. Quantum communication via teleportation seems possible enough!

Carol: Well, I'm glad you think so.

Hope you had a good one! :)

Old Kitty: LOL. I've never seen that movie--but I remember it from the book. It would be pretty cool if they could send things through the air, wouldn't it? :D

Monti: True. (At this point, all the world can do is stop using oil . . . which, unfortunately, seems to be harder than it sounds.)

Milo: I thank you for not finishing that. ;)

LOL. I don't really mind the phrase, but it seems like everyone just has to pop it in an article!

Michael: Definitely cool. :)

Thank you! I hope you enjoyed your Easter.

Clarissa: I don't fly (neither does anyone I know) but the TSA has been doing a lot recently, hasn't it? With there was a solid alternative to the problem of finding out what goes on an airplane . . . I mean, they have all the technology. SURELY they could be using it safely with infringing on people's privacy.

Flying high in the sky: I love researching this sort of stuff--there are so many possibilities. :D

Brave Chickens: That would be a very cool superpower. :)

Jen: Getting into Hogwarts . . . *sigh* That would be an absolute dream! ;D

mooderino said...

No, not really. I get that it's complicated, but i expected the use of an analogy to make it clearer, not just another way of showing how complicated it is. The fact there's a cat and a hammer and a poison etc. would suggest it's different to tossing a coin (or why add all that stuff?), but nobody ever explains in what way.

I understand that in quantum theory the observer affects the observation, what I don't see is how the cat example demonstrates this.

It's enough to collapse your wave function.

The Golden Eagle said...

Medeia: I've never seen The Fly--what happens?

Alleged: Ouch. Yeah, that would be a bit of a drawback . . . LOL.

Edith: Yup! It's not transferring people or objects from one place to another--but it can happen. :)

Niki: Me, neither--not unless around 1 million other people had done it successfully.

Trisha: It would be a useful technology!

Lynda: Saad--I love that acronym. ;)

I agree. Especially communications-wise.

Nas: Thanks!

I enjoyed writing it. :)

Ellie: Thank you!

I'm around 75:30 when it comes to communication--but I don't think it's very likely with living things.

Gujjari: Hi there! Welcome to the Eagle's Aerial Perspective. :)

I do, too.

Thank you so much for following my blog!

I checked out your blog--now a follower.

The Golden Eagle said...

Hmmm. Let's see if I can explain this a bit more . . .

Scientists found that for some particles, the more they tried to measure the position or momentum, or other specific aspect of the particle, the less they could tell about the other details of the particle.

As an example, if you tried to measure the position of the particle, the less you could tell about anything else. You could only know the probability of the particle's details aside from the one you're measuring, which is where the Cat comes in.

Schroedinger's Cat represents the probabilities of the particle being here, there, having a certain momentum. It's unlike flipping a coin, because while a coin is observable from everything to its weight to its location, certain particles cannot be observed that way.

mooderino said...

Okay, that brings in aspects i hadn't considered and makes me feel I'm getting closer to an understanding.

If you measure one thing, the other qualities become less defined, and only measurable as probabilities.

In the cat experiment, the cat is the other thing that is only a probability, but what is being measured? Is it the radioactive material? That's the part I'm not sure about now.

Thanks for taking the time (and patience) to go through this btw, much appreciated.

mood

The Golden Eagle said...

"If you measure one thing, the other qualities become less defined, and only measurable as probabilities."

Yes, you've got that part exactly!

Because the radioactive material always determines the state of the cat, it's the cat that's being measured. The final measurement is the probability of the cat falling into one of the two states.

mooderino said...

No, that doesn't make sense. It can't be the cat that's being measured until the end when you open the box. It has to be something else being meassured in order for the status of the cat to be undefined and so a probabality, no?

The Golden Eagle said...

I see what you mean--but (I should have said this before to make it clearer) the cat only represents the part of the quantum system that's about to fall into one of the probabilities.

So, yes, in measuring a particle, one thing would be measured while the other became a probability. With the thought-experiment, the cat represents only the probability.

mooderino said...

Ah, so the reason I could never understand this idea was as I thought — it's a really terrible analogy.

Thanks for clearing that up.

cheers,
mood

The Golden Eagle said...

There could definitely be a better analogy. :P

Glad to help!

Medeia Sharif said...

I don't want to give too much away...but man becomes fly.