(ORDO NEWS) — Almost no sci-fi universe can do without teleportation. In reality, scientists have implemented only quantum teleportation – its discoverers received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2022.
We explain why its principle cannot be applied to the macrocosm and why there are very few chances to create a teleport in the spirit of Star Trek
Why is quantum teleportation not the same as teleportation of physical bodies?
If you look for a fantastic analogue, quantum teleportation is more like telepathy. In other words, we are talking about the instantaneous transfer of information between media, and not about moving the media themselves.
But only not words, thoughts or images are transmitted, but states.
Let’s imagine that in a fantasy version of our world, children are born, between whom there is a mysterious connection.
If you wake one, the other will immediately open his eyes – and if at the same time the pupils of one always look up, then the pupils of the other will look down (and vice versa).
But we cannot know in advance where their pupils are looking until we wake them up. An important point – such a trick can be done only once.
Physicists would say that children are in a state of quantum entanglement. It would be inaccurate to say that they exchange information.
It’s just that if someone influences one, then both react. And it works at any distance. And teleportation is a way to instantly transfer the state of one child to another.
In the case of quantum particles, we act on them – for example, we measure the spin (momentum) and always get opposite states. For example, the spin of one particle will be directed upwards, and the other – downwards.
By manipulating entanglement, one can instantly transfer the state of one particle to another. In this case, the “recipient” and “donor” can be at least at different ends of the galaxy.
Now we are just beginning to understand how to use this phenomenon. Many scientists hope that it will provide faster data exchange and help develop strong encryption systems.
After all, it is almost impossible to intercept the information sent in this way – third-party influence on the particle will irreversibly change its “target” state and betray the attacker.
So physical teleportation is impossible?
Behind quantum teleportation is a physical process that engineers are trying to adapt to human needs. But the idea of teleportation of macroworld objects is not based on any of the known laws.
For example, we cannot instantly “communicate” the number of protons and neutrons of one atom to another (say, to make “heavy” water out of ordinary water).
Theoretically, in order to teleport an object, it would have to be digitized, that is, converted into data for transmission, and then transferred back to matter using some kind of universal 3D printer.
So far, these technologies are too fantastic, but in theory they could one day appear. But in both cases, we run into other problems.
You need a scanner that can register the position of each atom to an accuracy of the order of the size of a hydrogen atom.
Specialists from the University of Leicester have calculated that the digitized data of all the cells of the human body would be an astronomical volume – 2.6 × 10 to the 42nd power of a bit.
By technical standards in 2013 (the time the article was published), data transfer would take up to 4.85×10 to the 15th power of years, which is much longer than the age of the universe.
But one more question remains – will the digital twin of an object or person be identical to itself? For example, will it be possible to fully convey all the nuances of the molecular structure of the Stradivarius violin?
But what about consciousness and other complex processes, the nature of which we do not even understand?
Obviously, until people study the structure of physical objects to perfection and invent a way to map them, there can be no talk of any teleportation.
What about “wormholes”? It seems that they were also offered to be used for teleportation?
In this case, it is not about transferring the body to a given place, but about finding a shorter path between points in the Universe.
Those who watched the movie “Interstellar” probably remember the analogy with folded paper. If there are two distant points on a sheet of paper, then the best way to get from one point to another is not to “step” on the sheet, but to fold the sheet point to point and “jump”.
But how, if we are dealing with the matter of the Universe?
This question half-jokingly tried to answer the famous physicist Kip Thorne in the book “Interstellar. Science behind the scenes.”
Such tunnels through the fabric of the universe, oddly enough, are theoretically possible – according to Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
But this is an insidious property of Einstein’s equations: they allow for many strange and bizarre things (for example, black holes), but whether they exist in the Universe or not, we do not know. And we may not even know.
According to Thorne, such “wormholes”, if they occurred, would be very short-lived (minute fractions of a second).
We certainly would not have had time to “drag” something through them. Negative energy could keep the “burrow” in a stable state, but physicists have so far managed to obtain it only in laboratory conditions and in small quantities.
To put it simply, one area of space takes a portion of energy from another area, creating a deficit. “This is how it works in physics,” explains.
Thorn, “but we have a great, although not 100 percent certainty that we will never be able to get enough negative energy to keep the walls of the wormhole from collapsing.”
However, “unlikely” does not mean impossible, Thorne recalls. Once upon a time, the physical basis of quantum teleportation seemed incredible to Einstein himself.
Until the end of his life, he did not accept the idea that in the quantum world information can be transmitted instantly.
Nevertheless, today science is trying to bring this effect under control. Perhaps someday we will open “wormholes”. And we can even “settle” them.
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