Thursday, January 6, 2011

Remembering 2010: Quantum teleportation advances, yes, but not for heavy suitcases

Here’s a better explanation of what quantum teleportation means than most, from Casey Johnston at Ars Technica. In “Quantum teleportation achieved over ten miles of free space” (May 2010), he writes,
... "quantum teleportation" is quite different from how many people imagine teleportation to work. Rather than picking one thing up and placing it somewhere else, quantum teleportation involves entangling two things, like photons or ions, so their states are dependent on one another and each can be affected by the measurement of the other's state.

When one of the items is sent a distance away, entanglement ensures that changing the state of one causes the other to change as well, allowing the teleportation of quantum information, if not matter.
Sending information ten miles with no “traditional signal” is quite a feat.

One suspects that that’s the real future: Send information, stay home, and  leave the heavy suitcases at home. You won't need so much stuff anyway.