With precision, determination and science prowess that just boggles the mind, these scientists managed to send a photon from Earth to an orbiting satellite, using quantum teleportation. Six times. It’s a feat scientists the world over have been aiming for a long time time now. A quantum scientist friend of mine is absolutely green with envy. I applaud this monumental discovery and look forward to more.
Quantum teleportation, for those who have no idea what it is, is a process by which quantum information can be transmitted from one location to another, with the help of classical communication and previously shared quantum entanglement between the sending and receiving location. In theory, any atom or collection of atoms can be moved in this way.
So, no, it’s not like the teleportation method on Star Trek, but it’s got far more potential because one could conceivably use this method to travel to any distance in the observable universe. And yes, that’s a direct quote.
The problem with this teleportation method, and the reason I’m writing about it today, is the shenanigans that have the potential to happen. In the end, it’s all about what one is teleporting. Say, a human.
Now, to be teleported using quantum information, one must naturally be deconstructed. Death is the end result on the sending end. Or something very much like it. On top of that, one has to be entangled at a quantum level with and exact, or nearly exact, replica on the receiving end. A golem, as it were. But wait, there’s more.
We don’t know what makes us conscious and aware, we have no idea where our spark of sentient life comes from. What about those first few test subjects? Do they feel it when their original body dies? Is it possible for their golem to be something else, so long as it follows the rules of equivalent exchange? If quantum teleportation does transfer that sentient spark that is unique to each of us, how long can we continue to live, just hopping into new bodies as the old ones wear out?
I see a long, bright idea that will last far past this particular mortal coil.
Science in the pursuit of Fiction.