Scientists in Germany have just made a remarkable breakthrough in transporter technology inspired by the hit TV show and movie phenomenon Star Trek.
Researchers from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Jena have used lasers to move information from one place to another instantaneously in the first demonstration of quantum teleportation, according to the Express.
“Just like it did at the starship USS Enterprise, the information is transmitted fully and instantly, without any loss of time.”
While the scientists can’t transport solid matter yet, they can transmit the chemical and physical properties of objects with their laser beams, an important first step in developing Star Trek style transporter technology for everyday use.
For the uninitiated, the Star Trek style transporter works by deconstructing matter and beaming the information across space where the data is then used to reconstruct the same object.
Dr Alexander Szameit and Dr Marco Ornigotti have successfully used their transporter technology to move elementary particles like electrons and photons using their “spatially delocalized state” in a process known as quantum teleportation.
The theory of quantum teleportation was first written in 1993 and advances in technology enabled scientists to transport information 63 miles away using fiber optic cable in 2015. Now, German scientists have been able to reproduce that experiment without the physical necessity of wires or cables bringing the Star Trek technology much closer to becoming reality, reports the Express.
It is possible to transmit information from one location to another without any loss of time.
Along with the ability to transport information about a physical object, Star Trek style transporter technology would require a stock of atoms at either end of the transit system that can be used to reconstruct that same object.
This isn’t the first time scientific discoveries have been fueled by futuristic technology seen on Star Trek.
In 2014, OnBeep launched a line of wearable technology for first responders that was inspired by Star Trek communicators that could be worn on their clothes. The wearable tech gave first responders freedom of body movement while still allowing them to keep in contact with each other.
Last year, NASA scientists developed the ability to create a warp drive engine like the one that powers the Enterprise. The EmDrive project was able to create a small warp bubble that suspended spacetime for objects inside the bubble. The technology could theoretically be used to allow a ship to travel faster than light without the negative effects; the front of the bubble pushed space time away from the object which then reformed around the back.
Then, earlier this year NASA announced it had taken out two patents on dermal regenerator technology designed to drastically speed up the healing process and treat musculoskeletal pain without the use of drugs, according to their press release.
“It’s not just science fiction anymore. All indications are that 21st century life sciences will change dramatically during the next several decades.”
New York professor Michio Kaku told the Express the technology to transport humans across space shown in Star Trek will be readily available for use within the next few decades.
“You know the expression beam me up Scotty, we used to laugh at it. We physicists used to laugh when someone talked about teleportation and invisibility, something like that, but we don’t laugh anymore we realized we were wrong on this one. A lot of things you see on Star Trek will in fact be possible.”
[Image via Paramount]