Everybody hopes that the future will be full of jetpacks and rocket cars, but if you ask me, it’s teleportation that’s gonna be the real gamec hanger. Haven’t you ever seen an episode of Star Trek that takes place on Earth? They can literally go from San Francisco to Paris in almost seconds. Who doesn’t want that to make their morning commute easier?
Unfortunately, teleportation as it exists for the United Federation Of Planets does not yet exist for us. But as Henry Reich of MinutePhysics explains in the video above, the theoretical principle by which quantum teleportation works has already been used by scientists to move electrons, photons, and atoms back and forth using quantum entangled pairs of particles. Also, it won’t create a clone of you like in that movie where Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are magicians, but it will technically be destroying a version of you to create a new “you” in another location. (Of course, if you’ve seen other MinutePhysics videos on this site then you already knew all about that.)
As fun as “quark” is to say, however (and as fun a character as he is on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), visualizing how quantum teleportation works using the building block of atoms is kind of difficult for the average person. Instead, MinutePhysics posits a different thought experiment for explaining the phenomenon: sending Schrödinger's cat to the Moon.
As we all know, Schrödinger's cat exists in a quantum state where it is both alive and dead. By linking the cat to a one particle in an entangled pair of particles — say, one flea on the Earth and another on the Moon, where one is alive and one is dead but we don’t know which is which — we can figure out how to beam the correct information about how the cat's particles relate to the flea's particles, to someone who can then recreate the cat on the Moon.
Obviously it’s more complicated than that, but MinutePhysics does a great job of breaking down the algebra that goes into figuring out how this could be possible. Be warned, though... you might have to watch the video a few times to get it. There are a lot of variables flying around!
What do you think about MinutePhysics’ latest video? Are you scared off of the idea of teleportation forever, or are you still totally down to attach yourself to some quantum entangled particles? Let us know in the comments below!