In the journal Science last Friday, researchers reported that they had successfully transferred quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. A notion exploited in the film Prestige, based on a teleportation invention by Nikola Tesla. It’s also pretty much what happens in the SF show Star Trek in which an object is “destroyed” atom by atom in one place then built or "beamed" back with the same pattern elsewhere.
In the Science paper, researchers from Japan and Australia led by Noriyuki Lee of the University of Tokyo studied wave packets of light that existed in a state of quantum superposition—in other words, they existed in two different phases at the same time. They successfully transferred quantum information without losing its integrity.
Superposition permits computers to solve multiple problems at once. This new, faster teleportation process lets scientists move blocks of quantum information around inside a computer or across a network. This will potentially revolutionize quantum communications and computing. Researchers say it will make high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via communications networks a reality.
NikolaTesla’s notion over a hundred years ago of light as both a particle and a wave formed the basis of what we now call quantum physics. Tesla also investigated the creation of a "wall of light" by manipulating electromagnetic waves in a certain pattern, which he claimed would enable time, space, gravity and matter to be altered at will and engender anti-gravity airships, teleportation and time travel.
So, here’s my question: is our imagination limited by our reality or our reality limited by our imagination?
1. Noriyuki Lee and colleagues Teleportation Device
2. Transporter in the science fiction TV series "Star Trek"
3. Quantum Cat
Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.