September 02, 2005
Beam Me Up Scotty: Will Teleportation Ever Become Possible?

Physicist Eric W. Davis recently completed a study on whether teleportation could ever work.

Davis, who has a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Arizona, has worked on NASA robotic missions. His 79-page Air Force study seriously explored a series of possibilities, ranging from "Star Trek"-style travel to transportation via so-called wormholes in the fabric of space to psychic travel through solid walls.

I want to teleport to parallel universes, preferably at different points in time lines. I want to teleport to a parallel universe similar to our own with human civilizations but about 50 years further along in biotechnological development and get full SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) treatments that are very long lasting. Then, with a body full of biotech and nanotech that will keep me young for a couple of centuries I would want to travel into the past in other parallel universes.

The amount of computing power and energy needed would seem to preclude the possibility.

For example, the computing-encoding of the entire contents of a human body would require 10 to the 28th (the number one followed by 28 zeroes) kilobytes of computer storage capacity. It would take 100 quintillion of the world's best commercially available hard drives "to store the encoded information of just one human being."

Also, "it will take more than 2,400 times the present age of the universe (about 13 billion years) to access this amount of data" from the computers, Davis writes. And "to heat up and dematerialize one human being would require . .. the energy equivalent of 330 one-megaton thermonuclear bombs."

That's not exactly encouraging,

Tim Ventura of AmericanAntigravity.Com interviewed Eric Davis on Davis' wide range of interests in interstellar travel and also on the potential of doing teleportation.

Quantum teleportation will continue to evolve. The negative effects of decoherence upon the entanglement process is now becoming well understood and brought under control, so that the fidelity of teleporting the quantum states of large samples of atomic matter and photons has improved and will continue to do so. The science will evolve to demonstrate the teleportation of molecular states and later on large samples of molecules will have their states successfully teleported. Other quantum teleportation breakthroughs will continue to be announced, and these will involve teleporting other features and facets of matter and information that we have yet to fathom.

It will become possible in the future to forsee dabbling in the quantum teleportation of live beings and bulk inanimate matter (like cargo). But this will involve the destruction of their physical quantum states in order to teleport those states to another "glom" of matter, thus destroying the originals. This will create difficult ethical questions that will have to be considered.

My guess is if any of us wants to live to see teleportation we first need to solve the relatively easier problem of full body rejuvenation. More generally, to realize the goal of personally experiencing many sorts of science fiction fantasies such as interstellar travel and first contact with alien species your best bet is to support an acceleration of rejuvenation research. Given hundreds of years of youthful lives lots of things become possible in reality that we can now experience only in fantasy.

Check out Wikipedia's web page on teleportation for more on Davis's study and teleportation in general.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2005 September 02 12:16 PM  Travel Tech

Brett Bellmore said at September 2, 2005 2:29 PM:

"to heat up and dematerialize one human being would require . .. the energy equivalent of 330 one-megaton thermonuclear bombs.""

I'd have to see the calculations on that; It's my impression that even one thermonuclear bomb is quite capable of "heating up and dematerializing" multiple humans, albiet in a fashion that doesn't permit their later reassembly.

I'm reminded, in style if not detail, of a study back in the 70's that determined that anti-matter rockets were theoretically impractical, because the weight of the particle accellerator to generate the anti-matter, and the powerplant to run it, would be excessive compared to the resulting thrust. (I swear to you, I actually did read the study's abstract in a NASA publication, and not one published in April, either.) It's possible to dismiss prospective technologies as utterly infeasible by looking at implausible implementations... Such as using circa 2005 hard drives to store all the quantum states of a human body without using lossy compression! Indeed, all that data on the state of the remains of breakfast in your large colon is *so* important.

Michael said at September 2, 2005 3:05 PM:


Only because I am sure that if I said no I would be wrong.

Invisible Scientist said at September 5, 2005 9:11 AM:

You still have not answered the main question: assuming that you can dematerialize and rematerialize the body of a human being, does this teleportation affect the consciousness and soul of the person?

Brett Bellmore said at September 5, 2005 6:57 PM:

Assuming that the process works properly, the person coming out the other end will tell you that it didn't. Which is about as much basis as you have for thinking that deep anesthesia doesn't kill people's "souls", too.

David Canning said at September 6, 2005 7:52 AM:

This brings you to the "copy dilemma". If I copy myself exactly, is that me, or am I still me, or are we both me. If the original is destroyed in the process, is not the original still just as dead? The copy may think, act, and believe that it is the original, but does that matter to the original?

Lono said at September 8, 2005 2:08 PM:


What no one is saying, is that perfected quantum teleportation will create a world where privacy is no more.

I look very forward to that day!

When there are no more secrets left - we may find that we already have significant unreleased technologies already at our disposal.

At the very least Bush and Cheney like con men will find no place to hide in this new world order - not even in the woodlands of the Bohemian Grove!

Ahhh hah ha hah ha ha!!!!!

Dr. Dee Darry said at March 26, 2006 12:35 PM:

Sorry, in this part of the world, we are still bugged down with thoughts about how to travel to our villages, in very ricketty old mammywagons. Lets have someone tell me first how my government will assure us of regular electricity supply, before mentioning mega or giga dosages of electricity to teleport them from their room to their toilet.

Skylar1113 said at March 8, 2012 8:58 AM:

It will probally never leave you alive it has not really so far every thing just comes back with its exact duplicate which is allready real technoligy we have only gotten so far in teliporting energy may be in the future we can live through the thing i may not want a duplicate so maybe we wont die in the future

zach said at December 12, 2014 10:10 AM:

For those obsessing about the copy dilemma, you should note that you are yourself a copy of the person you were in the past, and not a very faithful one at that. Each day parts of you are destroyed and remade. After about 7 years, nearly every atom in your body has been replaced. THis tells us our identity is really an abstract thing, not physical in the first place.

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