Most of us have seen the science fiction series Star Trek and are familiar with their concept of teleportation, in which characters are ‘beamed’ off the ship to another spacecraft or to the surface of a planet.
While Star Trek is just a TV show, some of the concepts presented may not be science fiction after all. Some of the advanced technologies imagined for the series have actually been implemented, while others like ‘warp drive’ are currently under development.
Could teleportation be next?
Teleportation: Science Fiction or Science Fact?
As normally defined, teleportation is a process where a physical object is de-materialized, converted to energy, transported across a distance and re-materialized in a different place. It blends the concepts of telecommunications and transportation into a cohesive whole.
While the idea may seem far-fetched, researchers around the world have been performing teleportation experiments for more than two decades. In 1993, an international group of six scientists published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Physical Review Letters outlining a plan to make teleportation a controllable reality. These physicists confirmed that perfect teleportation is indeed possible in principle, and that preliminary success had already been achieved, in experiments involving photons, light fields, nuclear spins and trapped ions.