We all know the famous ‘beam me up Scotty !’ sentence from the Star Trek series. By doing so, a group of people is usually instantly transported from one location to another location, going through any sort of obstacle.
Of course, this is a science-fiction topic but could it become a reality? Here are some views about the subject as well as a list of a few techno-physical ways we could develop such teleportation Technologies.
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We always ask ourselves if it is possible to teleport an object? If it is possible, then how?
Many scientists (Stephen William Hawking for example) think that the Time-Space continuum is not at all isotropic and that there are wormholes from one point in space to another point in space.
These wormholes – which are so far only theoretical structures, also called Einstein-Rosen bridges – could exist because of some natural reasons – for instance, the presence of extremely high gravity objects nearby.
These theoretical wormholes would contain no physical matter but only “true vacuum” or “Hyperspace”.
The object put into such a hole, immediately reaches another exit with minimal possible time – lesser than the time which requires an electron to change its orbit.
The loophole possibly could work as a pump, pulling everything – the time-space itself, particles, etc.
In that theory, wormholes would act with some similarities with ‘small’ black-holes. They have been described as white holes, the opposite of black holes.
Advanced data transmission lines use counted photons to carry data. If the line is tapped, the photons just get consumed and disappear, so we can detect it.
On the other hand, sometimes such lines malfunction and lose all data. How can the photons disappear?
Easy: the escaped via wormholes. So, we can make even portable devices to detect the existence of a ‘nearby’ wormhole.
Therefore, providing that wormholes really do exist, we could technically create a teleportation portal by detecting them and using them for teleporting objects (or people) from one point in space to another point in space.
Teleportation based wormholes may require complex engineering, using what is known as exotic matter, to get stabilized.
There are a few pros and cons about teleportation wormholes:
The quantum entanglement provides a more ‘realistic’ method of creating teleportation technologies.
Quantum entanglement is a quantum phenomenon that occurs when the quantum state of each particle in a specific pair or group cannot be described independently of the state of each of the others.
In other terms, two given particles A and B can be paired, and they will always share the exact same quantum state no matter where A and B will move from each other.
This means that if A is located at a distance of – say – 1 million kilometers from B, if A changes its quantum state, B will change its quantum state accordingly without any visible matter communication between A and B.
This mysterious phenomenon is actually real and vastly unexplained and remains, for now, a deep and extremely puzzling mystery of modern physics.
There have been several validations of quantum entanglement and this also may imply communications faster than light, e.g. real teleportation, if not of the matter then of signals.
There is still a need for concrete signal teleportation despite the recent experiments made by a team of Chinese scientists which claim to have done quantum cryptography operations over a distance of 1,200 km using entanglement (published 28 July 2020 on Arxiv )
Another Chinese team claimed in 2017 that they have teleported a photon from the ground to a satellite orbiting more than 500 kilometers above.
As for objects (e.g. with strictly positive mass) teleportation using quantum entanglement, this is another story. There is no reason to believe that any technology could allow entanglement to teleport matter.
There are a few pros and cons about quantum teleportation:
This is a realistic method of teleportation of objects.
If an object A has been created by a 3D printer, the object is assimilated by the entry gate and converted into digital information (and eventually destroyed, e.g. becoming de-assembled) then the digital model is transferred using digital communication and finally, the object is reconstructed to the identical using a 3D printer at the exit gate.
The 3D printed object can be extremely complex and contains morphogenetic codes for instance here there wouldn’t be much difference between a Fax machine and making a copy.
There are a few pros and cons of 3D printer teleportation:
The technology already exists to develop efficiently such teleportation
Teleportation is very present in the popular Sci-Fi culture (Stargate, Star Trek). The series of horror films “The Fly” has featured the unfortunate adventure of a scientist who invented the teleportation machine but who got ‘merged’ with a fly during the teleportation itself!
In the Star Trek universe, teleportation accidents are common. Some people do not go where they want to go, some others get amputated or some others get even more horrible fates by having their DNA structure irremediably damaged.
Should teleportation technology exist one day, it would be highly dangerous and probably hazardous technology and considerable efforts and energy consumption should be required to minimize the risks involved with it.
Teleportation technology may thus be, in reality, used only for information and objects rather than for living beings.
As we saw previously, teleportation of information may become possible in the near future using quantum technologies. Even if information travels at the speed of light: – 299,792,458 m / s – or close to it, a signal may take a long time to reach a distant world.
For example, if we consider a human colony on the planet Mars, radio signals will be scrambled, especially by cosmic rays, and will need important energy to be transmitted while a quantum-based information teleportation system would be instant and with almost no loss of data.
Objects created via 3D printers can be teleported, in fact, cloned to a distant location.
Indeed, by using a combination of 3D printer technology and information teleportation technology, one could teleport objects, or in fact more precisely, the model of the object.
We hope that you enjoyed our tour of teleportation technologies mixing a lot of science-fiction and hypothetical physics entities or theories with real and actual technologies.
Strangely enough, the most realistic way of doing real teleportation for humans is also the most complicated: using the wormholes, and we haven’t quite the technology – yet – to do so.
Other teleportation technologies than wormhole based may consider objects – or even living beings- as a collection of atoms, a DNA sequence, a set of quantum parameters, and they may simply ‘delete’ them and re-create them, so in fact, this won’t be teleportation but an instant copy (cloning) involving deletion of the source and immediate remote re-creation as a target.
It’s not difficult to understand that nothing can be right with that method when considering teleporting human beings.
If we use the wormhole technique, this is the space that changes, not our bodies, so our local referential stays the same but how ‘freaking’ this must be to walk through a space tunnel a tunnel inside the space-time continuum itself!
But real teleportation systems may now look a bit closer than what you expected!
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