Teleportation Milestone Achieved

Scientists have come a bit closer to achieving the “Star Trek” feat of teleportation. No one is galaxy-hopping, or even beaming people around, but for the first time, information has been teleported between two separate atoms across a distance of a meter — about a yard.
This is a significant milestone in a field known as quantum information processing, said Christopher Monroe of the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, who led the effort.
Teleportation is one of nature’s most mysterious forms of transport: Quantum information, such as the spin of a particle or the polarization of a photon, is transferred from one place to another, without traveling through any physical medium. It has previously been achieved between photons (a unit, or quantum, of electromagnetic radiation, such as light) over very large distances, between photons and ensembles of atoms, and between two nearby atoms through the intermediary action of a third.
None of those, however, provides a feasible means of holding and managing quantum information over long distances.

Now the JQI team, along with colleagues at the University of Michigan, has succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a meter. That capability is necessary for workable quantum information systems because they will require memory storage at both the sending and receiving ends of the transmission.

Live Science
I had to decide whether I would continue after reading “…teleported between two separate atoms across a distance of a meter — about a yard“. I’m reading about the possibility of teleportation and the author decided that the fact that 1 meter ~= 1 yard was something to be clarified. Really?

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10 thoughts on “Teleportation Milestone Achieved

  1. Beaming; it’s thing I’ve never really understood when it comes to people being teleported in Star Treck. The fact that you as a being die instantly in the process is never really discussed in Star Treck.
    I mean, yeah, the quantum information of the original atom is transferred. But when you look at Star treck, atoms at point B (where Kirk is beamed to) are made to possess the same quantum information as at point A, where Kirk was standing just the second before. But what has happened to Kirk’s body at A? It has dissolved. At B, a completely new Kirk, made out of completely new particles, but being- physically and psychically, if you believe in matter creating the mind, as I do- the same. The new Kirk even remembers being beamed, but in reality, he has noting to do with the first Kirk whatsoever, apart from being his truly perfect clone. But the first Kirk is dead, his very particles are separated. It’s really difficult to be more dead, in fact.
    I’ve never liked the idea of beaming.

  2. @Miraluka:
    You apparently have have been misinformed how Star Trek Teleportation is supposed to work.

    “the devices transport objects in real time, accurate to the quantum level.”

    This means that they take your body, break it down to it’s components, shoot those components to somewhere else and rebuild you. My question has always been: How are they doing that when they often don’t have a receiver station to rebuild the components?

    what you refer to in your comment is the method of transportation used in The Fly.

  3. There was a story I read long ago about what happens when the original isn’t destroyed. Basically, you would have as many copies of yourself as the amount of times you teleported. But it’s not the method used in Star Trek.

  4. @tiki god: It doesn’t matter whether they shoot the components or build with new components. One carbon atom is identical to every other carbon atom (of the same isotope). Miraluka is bringing up a really good question comes up a lot in relation to philosophy of the mind.
    Subpoint B: As I have said many times quantum teleportation (what’s discussed in this article) is not the same a Star Trek teleportation. It will never lead to Star Trek teleportation. LiveScienceStaff needs to be between with a copy of Cohen-Tannoudji’s Quantum Mechanics.

  5. @Annarchy: There’s the classic story “Think Like a Dinosaur” by Jame Patrick Kelly where the teleportation operator has to “manually” destroy the original copy in order to “balance the equation”. Is that what you’re thinking of?

  6. @all
    Ok, I understand. Has nothing to do with Star Treck whatsoever.

    Instead, I’ve found this:

    It’s quite interesting, but has nothing to do with the whole quantum-entanglement-stuff dealt with in the article. I mean, to be honest, that because of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle it’s really nothing new, but I have never thought about it this way. Now understand what reboot is saying. ^^ Quantum mechanics is unbelievably confusing. It’s like magic. But more illogical than the good old conventional magic.

  7. @reboot:
    You’re correct that it won’t lead to Star Trek like teleportation, but here’s the cool part: if they can control the spin of the atoms no matter where they are, then they can basically write out ones and zeros…thus making interstellar communication possibility.

    Now they just need to get those two entangled atoms far enough apart to see if they’re affected by the speed of light. imagine being able to instantaneously communicate with someone on another planet with a quantum telephone.


  8. Short answer:
    You take a third particle, C, make a clone cope of A, carry it over to particle B, then simultaneously measure particle B and C. In they are in phase, the teleportation was successful. The trick here is that even though the information was transmitted instantaneously, you need to conventionally transport a 3rd particle in order to read it. Which makes it useful for quantum encryption, but not for instantaneous communication.

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