Captain Kirk and crew may have teleported on the USS Enterprise, but the technology doesn’t exist yet to do so. However, scientists have demonstrated that the concept of teleportation doesn’t only exist in the world of quantum particles but also in the classical world, a tiny first step.

USS Starship Enterprise

In a new study, physicists at the University of Jena, Germany have been successful in teleporting (beaming up) the properties of particles, unfortunately not the solid particles themselves. They used a special form of laser beams in their experiment and encoded some information in a particular polarization direction of the laser light. This information was transmitted in the shape of a laser beam using teleportation. In other words, the information was transmitted fully and instantly without any loss of time.

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Beam Us Up ... Star Trek

Telelportation is the transfer of matter or energy from one place to another without traveling the physical space between them, or in the Star Trek sense, making an object or person disintegrate in one place while a perfect replica appears somewhere else.

Dr. Alexander Szameit, junior professor of diamond-carbon-based optical systems at the university writes:

Teleportation describes the transmission of information without transport of neither matter nor energy. For many years, however, it has been implicitly assumed that this scheme is of inherently nonlocal in nature, and therefore to quantum systems. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that the concept of teleportation can be readily generalized beyond the quantum realm. We present an optical implementation of the teleportation protocol solely based on classical entanglement between spatial and model degrees of freedom, entirely independent of nonlocality.

Quantum entanglement is the moving of one quantum object to another in a distant location without transporting the actual object. This is sort of how fax machines operate.


Mr. Spock would truly understand the logic behind this study. The results may be used as an interesting option in telecommunications.

Dr. Szameit adds,

Our findings could enable novel methods for distributing information between different transmission channels and may provide the means to leverage the advantages of both quantum and classical systems to create a robust hybrid communication infrastructure.

Though the teleportation of humans is a long way off, some of the concepts used on the USS Starship Enterprise have become real: Doors that open automatically, video telephones and flip phones.

Scientists are going where no man has gone before.

Nancy Loyan Schuemann

Nancy Loyan Schuemann is a writer specializing in architecture, safes, profiles, histories and a multi-published fiction and non-fiction author and is Nailah, Middle Eastern dancer.

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