Possibilities of Real Life Teleportation

Topics: Quantum mechanics, Quantum entanglement, Atom Pages: 4 (1138 words) Published: January 27, 2013
Possibilities of Real Life Teleportation
Have you ever watched an episode of Star Trek and wondered if the possibility of teleportation existed in real life? Well, the good news is that it’s real! In 2008 for the first time ever in history, a team of scientists from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland was able to successfully teleport information directly from one atom to another over the distance of a meter. While this accomplishment isn’t as impressive as teleporting an actual human being, it’s still a significant scientific breakthrough that could lead to many possible future innovations.

The first question that many people may be wondering is what actually is teleportation? It is a hypothetical mode of transportation, in which matter is dematerialized in one location and recreated at a different place. In the show Star Trek, a character would walk into a transporter, be converted into an energy pattern, and then beamed to another target location. But in scientific terms, as Lee Tune explains in the article Long-Distance Teleportation Between Two Atoms Achieved, teleportation is tied to a concept called quantum information processing. This is where “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” (Tune). In the past, physicists have already been able to transfer information between photons (light particles) or atoms as long as they were adjacent to each other. But the experiment that the scientists from JQI conducted, were successful in exchanging information between two isolated atoms over a significant distance – one meter to be exact – for the first time ever in history.

Led by group leader Christopher Monroe, his team of scientists started their experiment by isolating a pair of ions (designated as A and B) in a vacuum and positioning them one meter apart. They were then aligned in position with...

Cited: Baughman, Brent. “Scientists Take Quantum Steps Toward Teleportation.” VPR News:
5 Aug. 2010. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Dowling, Danielle. “Teleportation Is Real – But Don’t Try It at Home.” Time
Magazine: 29 Jan. 2009. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Tune, Lee. “Long-Distance Teleportation Between Two Atoms Achieved.” University
Communications Newsdesk, University of Maryland: 22 Jan. 2009.
Web. 17. Oct. 2012
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