Teleportation: Physics of the Impossible

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Topic: Sciences


Teleportation is described as the action or capability of transferring matter instantly from one point in time and space to another point of the same nature. As much as it was first conjured by fiction writers, Teleportation has been the subject of wide discussions all over.

It is generally assumed that during the process of Teleportation, the object travels at the speed of light in order to reach the other point instantaneously and without any loss of form incurred. In his studies, Hartcher (1999) confirmed that groups of scientists have shown that, in principle, the process of Teleportation I indeed possible but with the destruction of the object in the first place.

Teleportation has since then been demonstrated in a number of systems including in the transmission of light fields, trapped ions among others.

In a book by Accardi (2009), he states that such discoveries have led to more research into the field of the quantum internet, where the technology will ensure that the transmission of data from one place or point to another is done instantaneously Gauging from the speeds of the internet that we are enjoying before Teleportation, it seems then that the future looks promising for the net.

As much as the idea of teleporting humans from point to point seems exciting, it is not possible as of now due to various engineering constraints that weigh heavily on the possibility of it occurring. Nevertheless, Teleportation does not disobey any fundamental laws of physics and hence cannot be termed impossible.

In a study by Gualino (1999) he reaffirms that such issues as to whether the teleported human would be the same as original considering factors such as thoughts and emotions, Engineering constraints are also present as it will require a machine that will be able to accurately pinpoint and examine all the trillions of atoms that make up the body.

The machine should then be able to reassemble the human body with exact precision; otherwise, this can lead to the resultant person containing numerous defects that would render them not human.

Mechanism of Teleportation

The process of Teleportation entails the dematerialization of an item or object and the transmission of its details with the exact atomic arrangement to another site where it will be reassembled back to its original form as it was.

This whole process does not disobey the uncertainty principle as originally thought. Initially researchers and scholars had disregarded this process as it was thought to disobey the uncertainty principle which puts it that the more frequent the scanning process of removal of information from an atom, then the more disfigured or disturbed it ends up, this is according to a research conducted by Nielsen (2004).

It hence reaches appoint during scanning that no more information can be extracted because the atom is deeply disrupted from its original form such that the exact duplicate cannot be reassembled. The transfer of information is elicited by extraction at the complex quantum levels.

Disturbance of the wave function at these levels is intense that the original item is not at the same level. In lay-mans language, this means that if enough information cannot be yielded from an atom, then a perfect duplicate cannot be reassembled.

This logic was however disapproved by a group of six scientists who were able to teleport a photon which is regarded as the unit particle of measuring light. Through a process of scanning the atomic structure of the particle of light, the scientists were able to send information about the photon to across a distance of about one meter of coaxial cable to form a duplicate photon. The original photon ceased to exist once the duplicate replica was formed.

His experiment was able to circumvent the Heisenberg principle. This principle stands to be the biggest hurdle to achieving Teleportation. In his studies Michio (2009) confirmed that the group of scientists was able to circumvent through the use of the entanglement phenomenon which seeks to explain how three photons are required in order for quantum teleportation to be achieved.

If photon A is taken as an example of the photon to be teleported, Photon B to be the photon responsible for transporting and Photon C is the one to be entrapped with photon B.

If photon A was scanned too much, then the scientists risked in destroying it but by entrapping photon B and C, the scientist were able to take out some information about photon and the rest of the information was passed on to photon B, through entrapment and on to photon C.

This results in Teleportation. Since then, there have been various experiments on Teleportation. In 2002, the researchers at Australian National University were able to teleport a laser beam, and this was followed recently by an experiment where information stocked up in a laser beam was teleported into a cloud of atoms.

This technology promises to be an aid in the development of quantum computing, which enables computer machines to be able to process information at nearly the speed of light.

Quantum Teleportation

In his book, Leuchs (2006) states that in the beginning, it was thought impossible for one to be able to recreate identical duplicates of any quantum states. Replication meant the destruction of the original; this phenomenon came to be known as the cloning principle.

It tries to explain how extensive scanning on the original matter, in order to investigate its details condemns its destruction. This phenomenon had heavy repercussions for the development of quantum teleportation. In addition, scientists had to come up with a way in which error correction methods could be built into the teleportation process in order for quantum teleportation to be feasible.

These limitations seemed to have condemned quantum teleportation to be an idea that was well illustrated in movies but could not work in real life.

In 1994, a breakthrough emerged when two researchers, Peter Shor from MIT and Andrew Steane from the University of Oxford, devised techniques that would be able to resolve the limitation of error correction. Their notions helped in circumventing the long-held no-cloning theorem, which had strictly limited the development of poof quantum teleportation, Darling (2005).

According to Fox (2006), the field of quantum teleportation took a leap foreword in 1993 after the publication of the famous paper, “Teleporting an Unknown Quantum State.” The paper highlighted the possibility of Teleportation based on today’s science and illustrated how Teleportation was achievable even at the subatomic level.

The paper was instrumental as it evidenced that the matter being teleported was not actually physical matter but actually information. Teleportation is not limited by factors such as distance and time but may only be limited by the speed at which transfer is possible. It is assumed that the speed at which the process is achieved can not be faster than the speed of light.

Quantum Computing

In 1965, Gordon Moore had predicted that the number of transistors that could be positioned on a computer chip would always be doubled every two years and this led to the famous Moore’s law which still holds true up to today but it I predicted that the size of the chip would become too small for any transistors to be added and it is this point that quantum teleportation will aid in the transition to the next generation computing methods.

According to Mikhail (2007), quantum computing at the present time is being used in the encryption of data but shows more promise in its usage as a mass information storage technology.

The condition of superposition in Teleportation whereby a particle can take up two states at the same time; hence, it is assumed that a quantum bit can store multiple numbers. This ensures that the speed of computing is multiplied several times. In an experiment by Brylinski (2009), he states that quantum computing guarantees the manipulation, storage, and retrieval of more data than has been done before,

Advantages of quantum computers over conventional computers

Quantum computers have several advantages over the currently available systems, such as their physical scalability as the number of Quantum bits can be augmented without compromising the size of the system.

In research conducted by Ottaviani (2003), the second advantage of quantum computing is that quantum bits can be activated to random values. Whereas the numbers of bits operating in conventional computers are around three bits, quanta bits can be superimposed hence hold more information. Quantum gates can be decoded more easily than in current computing systems.

Other possible applications of Teleportation

The field of Teleportation is only emerging, but scientists and researchers have linked the technology with various uses in daily life

Communication: In his book Tombesi (2001), it currently takes approximately between four to twenty one minutes to receive information from radio communication systems transmitted via satellite systems; this highly depends on the direction of communication. With Teleportation, it will be possible to receive information and data almost instantaneously.

It will be possible to communicate with either manned and unmanned spacecraft located many light years away from the earth. The fidelity of information could also be enhanced as it will not be possible to hack into communication systems as transmitted information will be received immediately, denying the hacker any chancre to intercept the information.

Transportation: Since matter can transcend space and time, it will be possible to travel from one location to another instantly. Reducing common hassles related to commuting and thus reducing the number of deaths attributed to accidents. Many hours are lost when traveling from one place to another, and this impacts businesses heavily. Teleportation will enable higher productivity, which will boost profits for companies.

Energy Transmission: With further headway in teleportation technologies, it will be possible to transmit energy from the generation centers and instantaneously receive it in another point anywhere in the universe. The transmission of energy is bound to be much faster with fewer chances of transmission losses.

Barriers to Teleportation

There are several barriers currently hindering the above-said possibilities. Barriers are in all forms i.e., physical barriers in the form of technology, biological barriers that are presented in the form of irreversible biological effects as well as ethical barriers that question the morals of the technology.

In a study by Dima (2006), he concludes that perhaps the biggest technological barrier that researchers have faced is the development of a mode of light that allows the Teleportation of higher capacities of data, The current technology which utilizes Laser technology is restricted to transfer of simple atomic a matter.

We have already discussed about the limitations of teleporting human being due to the number of atoms that constitutes a human being. This will require that major developments be done in the field of laser technology. Biological barriers are presented in the form of the amount of knowledge that researchers currently have on the human body and the effects of Teleportation on the human body and other biological matters.

In a study by Dima (2006), he concludes that an example of this is how issues such as emotion and memory will be restored after Teleportation has occurred. How can emotion be downloaded on the other side after teleporting has been done?

These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered before the whole process is accepted. The other barriers that can be present in the whole process are ethical barriers, Where the original matter has to be destroyed in order for teleporting to happen, this tends to violate religious laws that give the authority of destroying life only to the maker of life i.e., God.

In a detailed report, it summarizes that also the fact that the human being is killed in an intentional manner is reason enough to create ethical controversies. With a large population involved in the whole process, then it will be perceived that mass murder will be initiated through science.

Alternatives to Teleportation

As much as Teleportation is a novel idea, man can move through time and space using different modes of technology, although not as fast as they would have done through Teleportation. In a study conducted by Totterdale (1995), man has developed Mach Travel offers the possibility of traveling faster than sound.

Quantum computing provides man with fast ways of communicating, and this is demonstrated by the advent of the internet and email. Researchers are coming up with the quantum internet, which involves the use of quantum computers. Man has also conjured space travel that has enabled them to discover new frontiers.


Further research into this field is ongoing, and its applications promise to revolutionize the way man operates. Research is currently ongoing at MIT, California Institute of Technology and other universities all around the world on how the process of quantum entanglement.

List of References

Accardi, L. (2009) Quantum Bio-Informatics II: From Quantum Information to Bio- Informatics. Italy, World Scientific.

Brylinski, K. (2002) Mathematics of quantum computation. London, CRC Press.

Bouwmeester, D. (2000) The physics of quantum information: quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation, quantum computation. New York, Springer.

Darling, J. (2005) Teleportation: the impossible leap. New York, John Wiley and Sons.

Dima, C. (2006) Quantum computers, algorithms, and chaos. Sydney, IOS Press.

Fox, M. (2006) Quantum optics: an introduction. London, Oxford Publishers.

Gualino, V. (1999) Quantum computation and quantum information theory. Italy, World Scientific.

Hartcher, T. (1999) The Time Travel Handbook: A Manual of Practical Teleportation & Time Travel. California, Unlimited Press.

Leuchs, G. (2007) Lectures on quantum information.New York, Wiley-VCH.

Michio, K. (2009) Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel. New York, Anchor.

Mikhail, K. (2007) Quantum imaging. California, Springer.

Nielsen, P. (2004) Introduction to quantum optics: from light quanta to quantum teleportation. London, Cambridge University Press.

Ottaviani, J. (2003) Quantum entanglement, spooky action at a distance, teleportation, and you. New York, G.T. Labs.

Tombesi, P. (2001) Quantum communication, computing, and measurement. New York, Springer.

Totterdale, G. (1995) Teleportation: a practical guide for the metaphysical traveler. Sydney, Words of Wisdom International.