Well, once again, science is imitating science fiction: In a discovery that may pave the way for possible Star Trek-like travel in the future, a group of physicists have developed a method to teleport atoms.
Physicists Murray Olsen says the method is very much like the Star Trek characters' favorite way to get back on the Enterprise.
The atoms are first cooled to almost absolute zero, or -273C. At a billionth of a degree above this temperature, a quirk of physics makes all the atoms start behaving in the same way. Then the scientists zap them with two lasers.
“If you cool these atoms down enough ... in a condensate, they all enter the same quantum state,” Dr Olsen said.
“When a few thousand atoms are overlapping (and you hit them with the laser beams)… they basically disappear.
“We can use an optic fiber (to transport the signal at the speed of light) into a second condensate, which could be in another room, or another building, or another state.
“We’ve got the coldest thing in the universe and the fastest speed in the universe.”
Dr Haine said the team’s method is quite simpler than any previous teleportation theories.
He also said that their method would reconstruct the atoms better once transported, compared to the “entanglement” theory.
“As our scheme doesn’t rely on the quality of the entanglement, it may be possible to achieve more accurate teleportation via this method,” Dr Haine said.
Physicist John Close says he will be implementing teleportation into various experiments over the next several years.
Posted by Rebecca Sato