I’d always struggled at physics in school, but not quantum mechanics. I struggled to determine answers through Newtonian dynamics and electromagnetism, but I aced quantum mechanics. Why? Maybe because like in science fiction you have to suspend some disbelief.
Light is both a wave and particle. Fine.
You can know either the position or trajectory of a particle, but not both. Ok.
If two particles become entangled, they can affect one another regardless of the distance between them. Sure.
Well, it turns out that last one can be demonstrated. In last week’s issue of Science, a team from the Universities of Maryland and Michigan have determined that they can detect the teleportation of information across about three feet in the lab between two atoms. Not transmitted. Teleported. Wild.
I can’t begin to explain the physics, but I can explain the effect. Suppose (Fish) and I are entangled particles. I’m in San Diego, he’s in SLO-town. I am caused to itch. I scratch. Scratching immediately causes (Fish) to itch. The information is teleported. The authors claim that advances like this could lead to the development of quantum computers that out-process anything we have right now, but we all know that they should be aiming higher.
Transporters. I know, I know, the instantaneous transmission of information across space is not the same as the instantaneous transmission of atoms across space, but let a guy dream for a bit. At the beginning of the year, Ross had a post about all the things science-fiction has promised society that have yet to arrive and teleportation was one of them. Maybe now we’re just a little closer to that.
There was one little thing that bothered me in the article. The team said that they have been able to recover the teleported information with perfect accuracy about 90% of the time.
Hrmmm. I wonder what happened to the data in that other 10%?