Star Trek is an all-time favorite, mostly because of the amazing way characters beamed from one place to another; teleportation done in the movie which always seems to marvel us. However, the recent progress in the field of teleportation is something to be astounded at. For the scientists have successfully teleported quantum information from planet to the ship! Does that mean human beings are next??
Relying on the uncanny phenomenon of quantum entanglement, teleportation has been done by scientists for quite some time now for single particles though. Because the increase in particles, introduces insurmountable obstacles in the quantum mechanics. Teleporting on minute distances has been a common among the scientists.
“You are not actually moving the photons from one place to another because you are destroying the original. What materializes at the other end is your twin which has all the information of the previous object.” Quantum entanglement as explained by Kaku.
What you transfer is the state of the thing not the thing itself, similar to that of a fax machine working; it sends the information about the marks on the piece of paper rather than the paper itself. The receiving fax machine gets the information and applies it to raw material in the form of paper that is already there. In other words that’s how quantum entanglement works.
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It’s basically a phenomenon which arises when two particles are created at the same time and at the same location, hence effectively having same existence. The entanglement continues when the photons are separated, meaning if one photon changes, the other changes in the same way at the different location.
Sounds great, but the problem is, it has been impossible to create a long-distance link between two entangled particles because an entangled photon can only travel about 150km down a fiber-optic channel before becoming absorbed.
Therefore transferring them through space is the better option, but to get to space the Earth layers have to be crossed, which impose certain complications. But the researchers have achieved and overcome this hurdle, successfully transmitting information on photon into space satellite.
By establishing a channel link from Earth to a satellite, most of the transport is through empty space, so there’s virtually no loss-of-signal. As the new publication reports:
“We report the first quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite – through an up-link channel – with a distance up to 1400 km.”(source: Forbes).
This record was set by the Chinese scientists, who didn’t beam anyone up to a spaceship. Rather, they sent a packet of information from Tibet to a satellite in orbit, up to 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. So basically, what is happening is the encoding of information from one particle to another.
However, with humans the case isn’t that simple. Though extracting the information from the being isn’t a difficult task but encoding the entire information; building an entire being from raw set of particles is a completely different story as Chad Orzel notes:
“There are something like a hundred billion neurons in a human brain, and about a hundred trillion connections between them. That’s about 2100,000,000,000,000 possible states to worry about, or roughly 1030,000,000,000,000.
That’s considerably more states than there are particles in the known universe, and if you need one entangled pair to teleport each of those (as a ballpark estimate), well, let’s just say the odds aren’t very good.”
However, with the current constraints the task seems impossible; there is no say as to what the future hold. For if we remember a decade or so back, teleporting was laughed up as a joke. But with the right tools and genius scientists have it figured out somewhat. So keep your hopes high, because if not you, your children or grandchildren might just meet up with the Aliens!