Getting somewhere in one second: When can we teleport ourselves, like in Star Trek?

Transportation in Star Trek.


in a Star Trek You (usually) no longer need a car, public transportation, or space shuttle: someone is transported from one place to another by teleportation, disappearing in one place and reappearing at one or more times in another.

Where did you see?

Beam me, Scotty!Technology that doesn’t exist rarely becomes as creative as moving people with a conveyor inside of it Star Trek.

How close are we?

No more standing in traffic jams for work or cramming for hours on a plane on the way to your vacation destination, with your legs behind your neck and a soggy sandwich for dinner. Who is the carrier à la Star Trek Buildings can go anywhere – from Australia to Mars – and have the perfect transportation at their fingertips.

How do? Well, the carrier does a very advanced 3D scan of all the building blocks that make up you and sends that information to your destination. There the machine reassembles piece by piece. Oh yes: the whole process unfortunately destroyed the copy of “you” at the place of departure.

Useful, but also a bit scary of course. even some Star TrekThe characters are afraid of technology. Because: If it was torn down upon departure and a full version appeared at your destination with all your memories and even the same haircut, would you still be? W: Aren’t people more than just a collection of molecules?

They are philosophical questions to which there is no definitive answer. But can it be teleported at all? For a long time, physicists didn’t think so, because Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle threw a wrench into the works. This principle states that you can never read all the information from a particle. So you can never have a blueprint for building a new “you” somewhere else. This is why the carriers in Star Trek It has so-called “Heisenberg compensators”, parts that temporarily erase this difficult law of nature.

However, teleportation has been possible for a number of years now. At least: on a small scale. In the lab, physicists regularly “simulate” particles. It starts with two entangled particles, particles that are ghostly connected even if there are miles – or number of galaxies – between their physical locations. Use an easy setup that fools Heisenberg and it turns out that you can actually transfer quantum information from one particle to another effortlessly. This technology forms the basis for the quantum internet of the future, the internet in which quantum computers can talk to each other.

Unfortunately, scaling from a single particle to a whole person turned out to be futilely complicated in practice. For example, no one yet knows how to read the particle of a human being. Or how to avoid accidents like horror movies the fly A single teleported fly causes the main character to slowly but surely transform into a hideous monster.

Even if I fix these issues, teleportation remains practically impossible. The amount of information you have to convey on your own turns out to be impossible. Students from the University of Leicester Already calculated in 2013 That you would have to send roughly 3 x 10^46 bits – 3 with 46 zeros, an amount of information that takes longer than the age of the universe to send even with the fastest connection we have. Better to stand in a traffic jam for an hour.

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Megan Vasquez

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