Sunday, November 19, 2006


What if there was a way to get you from your home to the college or office without having to use your car, or from your backyard to the International Space Station without having to board a spacecraft? There are scientists working right now on such a method of travel, combining properties of telecommunications and transportation to achieve a system called teleportation.
In order to transmit an object we need to dematerialize it and sending the details of that object's precise atomic configuration to another location, where it will be reconstructed. What this means is that we could be transported to any location instantly, without actually crossing a physical distance. This is just like sending signals from one place to another place using various modulation techniques.
For a person to be transported, a machine would have to be built that can pinpoint and analyze all of the 1028 atoms that make up the human body. That's a more than a trillion trillion atom. This machine would then have to send this information to another location, where the person's body would be reconstructed with exact precision. Even a slight change in position of atoms especially in our brain causes severe neurological or physiological defect.
If such a machine were possible it would work more like a fax machine -- a duplicate of the person would be made at the receiving end, but with much greater precision than a fax machine. But what would happen to the original? In this biodigital cloning, tele-travelers would have to die, in a sense. Their original mind and body would no longer exist. Instead, their atomic structure would be recreated in another location, and digitization would recreate the travelers' memories, emotions, hopes and dreams. So the travelers would still exist, but they would do so in a new body, of the same atomic structure as the original body, programmed with the same information.
One day, one of your descendents could finish up a work day at a space office above some far away planet in a galaxy many light years from Earth, tell his or her wristwatch that it's time to beam home for dinner on planet X below and sit down at the dinner table as soon as the words leave his mouth.
1) In 1998, physicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), along with two European groups, turned the IBM ideas into reality by successfully teleporting a photon, a particle of energy that carries light.
2) In 2002, researchers at the Australian National University successfully teleported a laser beam.
3) The most recent successful teleportation experiment took place on October 4, 2006 at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. Eugene Polzik and his team teleported information stored in a laser beam.

-- suman

No comments: