“Live Long and Prosper” to all my friends from the Vulcan planet! I bring greetings from Spock! For those of us who grew up watching one of the most epic science fiction series of all time, “Transporting really is the safest way to travel” – Geordi La Forge, 2369 (‘Realm of Fear’) manages to draw our attention towards the Transporter. The famous subspace device that was capable of moving an object from one location to another by de-materializing, transmitting and reassembling it at the speed of light. This fascinating concept of moving objects and humans around within the blink of an eye and with absolutely no limitations of space or distance leaves most of us in awe. This term or rather an idea is popularly known as teleportation in the science fiction genre.
According to quantum physics that deals with the behaviour of subatomic particles, it’s extremely possible to have two particles entangled together, i.e. they function as if they were connected even if they are millions of miles apart from each other. This was a very interesting theory proposed by Einstein and his co-workers Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, commonly known worldwide as the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen theory of Entanglement among the scientific community.
Francesco Marsili, a micro devices engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California and his team of researchers, made use of the entanglement phenomenon and succeeded in quantum teleportation of data over a 25 km distance via an optic fibre cable using particles of light or photons. His research has been published in the Nature Photonics Journal. “In an entangled system, each part is connected to one another in a fundamental way, such that any action performed on a part of the entangled system has an effect on the whole entangled system,” Marsili explains. Using this knowledge to our advantage, its possible to transfer properties or information of materials and objects at a quantum level thus making it possible to develop a world-wide quantum network for the most secure and fastest transfer of data. Not to mention the fact that quantum computers, that are one of the most debated future computer technologies amongst various scientists and researchers would finally become a reality in this scenario.
Quantum computers are like supercomputers that make use of phenomena such as superposition and entanglement of particles to perform extremely complex calculations and factor large numbers that even the best computers cannot do yet. Quantum cryptography is seen to be likely used for bank account systems and space communication systems by eliminating cyber-attack threats. In case you are wondering what quantum teleportation is, let me put it this way, it’s the transfer of quantum information that is, the state and/or properties of atom or ions from one location to another via the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. In simple terms its teleportation at microscopic level. Now, it’s not as exciting as teleporting macroscopic objects or people but its definitely a huge breakthrough leading to the future possibility of creating a device or machine that teleports people. There have been many advances in research on teleportation around the globe that have been well documented in several websites and journals. We are therefore not too far from creating a Transporter for ourselves.