Ever since the invention of wheel more than 5,000 years ago, people have been inventing new ways to travel faster from one point to another. So many things have been invented to decrease the amount of time we spend getting to our desired destinations but they all require us to cross a physical distance, which can take anywhere from minutes to many hours depending on the starting and ending points. Scientists are working right now on combining properties of telecommunications and transportation to achieve a system called teleportation.
Teleportation is transfer of matter from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them. What this means is that time and space could be eliminated from travel — we could be transported to any location instantly, without actually crossing a physical distance. At this point, teleportation is not a matter of moving matter but one of transporting information. Scientists have managed to teleport information from one atom to another from a distance of about one meter.
In 1993, physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. This revelation, first announced by Bennett at an annual meeting of the American Physical Society in March 1993, was followed by a report on his findings in the March 29, 1993 issue of Physical Review Letters. Since that time, experiments using photons have proven that quantum teleportation is in fact possible.
In 1998, physicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), along with two European groups, turned the IBM ideas into reality by successfully teleporting a photon, a particle of energy that carries light. The Caltech group was able to read the atomic structure of a photon, send this information across 3.28 feet (about 1 meter) of coaxial cable and create a replica of the photon. As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made. Heisenberg Principle states that you cannot simultaneously know the location and the speed of a particle but if we can’t know the position of a particle, then how can we teleport it? In order to teleport a photon without violating the Heisenberg Principle, the Caltech physicists used a phenomenon known as entanglement. In entanglement, at least three photons are needed to achieve quantum teleportation: Photon A: The photon to be teleported, Photon B: The transporting photon, Photon C: The photon that is entangled with photon B.
In 2002, researchers at the Australian National University successfully teleported a laser beam.
Another successful teleportation experiment took place on October 4, 2006 at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. Information stored in a laser beam was teleported into a cloud of atoms. It was one step further because it involved teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium”. The information was teleported about 1.6 feet (half a meter).
Already, physicists have been able to exchange information between light particles or photons or between atoms. In 2008 another successful teleportation experiment was conducted by a team of scientists from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland.Using a pair of ions, or charged particles, group leader Christopher Monroe and his team place each in a vacuum and keep them in position with electric fields. An ultra-fast laser pulse triggers the atoms to emit photons simultaneously. If the photons interact in just the right way, their parent atoms enter a quantum state known as entanglement, in which atom B adopts the properties of atom A even though they’re in separate chambers a meter apart. When A is measured, the information that had been previously encoded on it disappears in accordance with the quirky rules of the quantum world. But all is not lost: because B is entangled with A, B now contains the information that was once carried on A. That information, in a very real sense, has been teleported.