We’ve all heard of teleportation, but is it really possible?
For years, science fiction has fascinated us, from zooming through space at ultra fast speeds to travelling through time. What has fascinated me most of all is the idea of teleportation. If you would like more information on traveling faster than the speed of light, check here. If you would like more information on time travel, check here. The theory on teleportation has been on the minds of many science fiction nerds ever since it was made famous by the famous quote “Beam me up Scotty” (Star Trek). Many have asked the question, is it possible?
The theory for teleportation is quite interesting because it was first proposed by Albert Einstein’s theory of entanglement. Entanglement baffles scientists today, but why is that? you may ask. Entanglement is theory that all photons and atoms have a perfect replica somewhere in the Universe, and that whatever you do to one atom here, where ever that other atom is will move to that state of matter as well. Scientists have no idea what causes the distant connection between the two particles, but have proven that this does occur. But what does this have to do with teleportation?
You see, teleportation requires this theory of entanglement. Scientists have recreated what would be needed to teleport certain particles from one area to another. An experiment was done back in 2002 that proved that photon particles (light) could be teleported from one area to another. The scientists have created the photon particles, and because they created the particles at the same time through the same conditions, and in the same place, their properties were linked. They then made the light beam disappear in one spot of their lab, and make it reappear in another area in the same lab. Essentially, they had made the particles teleport. It is important to remember that what they teleported was smaller than the size of an atom, but it proved that teleportation can occur. This experiment also showed another application for this teleportation as well; an instantaneous way to move large amounts of data from one point to another, which could be possible in the near future.
Since it was proven that particles can be teleported, you would think that people could be teleported too, right? The answer is much more complicated than that. You see, to teleport objects would require entanglement of atoms. Scientists are not sure of how to teleport atoms currently, but have been working on ways to teleport lasers for the past 8 years, since the completion of the photon teleportation back in 2002. Now another problem with teleporting a human would be that when an object is teleported, the original copy is destroyed in order to create the replica. Theoretically you would have teleported, but it is unsure of if it would truly be you on the other side, as the original you would have been destroyed to teleport. It would also be a problem because even if you were teleported and it was you, what is to say you will teleport alive?
If those weren’t enough problems with teleportation, then here is one of the biggest problems: Let’s say scientists figure out a way to teleport a live human being and it is the same person that went through both ends; how would it be done? It was theorized that to teleport the person, they would basically be turned into data on the computer, and sent from one point to another through a data transfer. Even if we found out a way to transfer a humanoid into data, the size needed on a computer would be massive. Consider the data files on your computer; certain files now are a few Gigabytes of memory, right? Well, the problem here is that a single human would be several terrabytes of memory (I am not sure of the exact number), and we do not have computers that even have that much space to teleport a human.
Now to go back to the question: is teleportation possible? The answer is yes. After hearing the problems, should we still pursue it? What is to say that it wouldn’t kill the person who is trying to teleport? Who’s to say that if the teleportation worked, that you wouldn’t reappear inside out? These questions will be answered at some point in the future, though I highly doubt it will be in our time. It would be very interesting to see what it would be like to teleport though, I must admit.