June 2, 2014
Teleportation Breakthrough: Team Of Dutch Physicists May Have Just Proven Einstein Wrong
Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The world of Gene Roddenberry has given us so many things that seemed an impossibility when we first saw them on the fantastical science-fiction television show Star Trek. All you need do is visit your local grocery store for the sliding doors triggered by an electronic eye, or reach into your own pocket for a personal communications device. The one thing that seemed too impossible, however, was the transporter, a teleportation machine that could break down a structure at the atomic level, via dematerialization, and send that coded energy practically anywhere.
A team of Dutch physicists, led by Professor Ronald Hanson of Delft University, is proud to announce that the future is here. Of course, they aren't able to teleport something as complex as a human quite yet. They started small just to prove it could be done. Their repeated experimentation involving quantum bits (or qubits) of information was able to be replicated with a 100 percent rate of success.
So, how does the Delft team's success prove Einstein wrong? The teleportation of the qubits would have been impossible but for their reliance on entanglement. “Entanglement is arguably the strangest and most intriguing consequence of the laws of quantum mechanics,” stated Hanson. “When two particles become entangled, their identities merge: their collective state is precisely determined but the individual identity of each of the particles has disappeared.” He continues, “The entangled particles behave as one, even when separated by a large distance. The distance in our tests was three meters (or just under 10 feet) but in theory the particles could be on either side of the universe.”
Einstein, widely regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in quantum physics, balked at the notion of entanglement, calling it “spooky action at a distance.” He just didn't believe that you could have two atoms, separated by whatever hypothetical distance, where any change or action in one was immediately mirrored by the other. Decades after his death and numerous experiments later, we now know that the concept of entanglement does, in fact, exist.
The implications of this study, (and another to be conducted where the information will be teleported several hundreds of feet around the Delft University campus), is important for the future generations of data transport and communication. As this team racks up more successes, we will be ever closer to the invention and development of a quantum network that will allow ultra-fast quantum computers to communicate. Think of it as a quantum internet.
Quantum computers will be able to work on problems that today's supercomputer couldn't even address. Add to the list of pluses of a quantum internet the fact that the days of hacking will be a thing of the past. This is because the quantum internet will enable completely secure information transfer.
For any naysayers out there that believe the teleportation of qubits is not in any way, shape or form related to the complexity of the eventual teleportation of larger objects and even humans, Hanson, in an interview with The Telegraph stated, “If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to the other.” He concluded, “In practice, it's extremely unlikely, but to say it can never work is very dangerous. I would not rule it out because there is no fundamental law of physics preventing it.”
Results of the Delft team's research was published May 29 in the journal Science.