• Question: Is teleportation possible?

    Asked by 11mccoa1 to Josh, Stuart on 28 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Stuart Archer

      Stuart Archer answered on 28 Jun 2013:

      I wish we had teleporters! Sadly though, it looks like the teleporters that you see in shows like Star Trek aren’t going to be possible any time soon, at least with our current understanding of quantum physics.

      There is hope though! Researchers who are looking at the next type of computers – so called ‘quantum computers’ – have discovered that it’s possible to teleport individual particles of light, called ‘photons’, from one location to another. The actual way this works is really complicated and involves something known as ‘quantum entanglement’ – you’d need a physicist to really explain that properly!

      Basically, they don’t actually ‘teleport’ the photon – they destroy the original and then re-create it exactly at another location, using information stored in another photon that is said to be ‘entangled’ with the original one.

      So, if you managed to teleport something more complicated, it looks like you wouldn’t be actually moving it from one place to another, you’d be destroying the original and re-creating an exact replica in the new location!