Human teleportation has always been considered the sole prerogative of the likes of Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise. However, a recent experiment has at last proved what the laws of physics always said was possible: the teleportation of atoms from one place to another.
Those of us who grew up in the 1980s will remember how in David Cronenberg’s science fiction horror film The Fly, Seth Brundle, played with aplomb by Jeff Goldblum, made teleportation possible.
The only problem is that it all went pear-shaped for Seth in a big way. When the bug-eyed Brundle was busy showing off to his lady love, Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis), how he could master human teleportation at the drop of a hat, the saucy scientist failed to notice his atoms getting mixed up with those of a fly who had secretly invaded his magical human teleportation machine.
Before you could say, “Dude, you’ve merged yourself with an insect at a molecular-genetic level,” Seth single-handedly planted the seed in our dread-filled heads that human teleportation was something to be best avoided, unless of course, you wanted to end up as a freaky looking insect with a craving for human blood.
Obviously we’ve moved on a lot since the dark ages of the 1980s and so too has human teleportation.
In fact, in a recent experiment conducted by Professor Hanson, from Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology, they managed to teleport an atom three meters with 100 percent accuracy.
Admittedly, when you consider a human being consists of billions of atoms, the teleportation of one atom a whole three meters doesn’t at first seem all that promising for human teleportation as a whole.
Yet what this experiment proves for the first time is that it’s now possible for the teleportation of information encoded into sub-atomic particles between two points. In other words, if human teleportation is the destination, then this is the first small step on a billion mile journey.
Prof Hanson said: “If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another.”
The guiding principle of teleportation is the theory of “entangled” particles. When “entangled” particles merge they acquire a unique identity and no matter how far apart they are, the state of one instantly influences the other. In other words, getting from “here” to “there” in some far-flung future may be extremely quantum.
Speaking on the subject of human teleportation, Prof Hanson explained: “What you’re doing is using entanglement as your communication channel. The information is teleported to the other side, and there’s no way anyone can intercept that information. In principle it’s 100 percent secure.”
Beam me up Scotty!