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Offline Whitestar

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Teleportation
« on: 11/02/2004 04:42:17 »
Hi everybody.

I have always been intrigued by the concept of teleportation and with the recent advances in quantum teleportation at the University of Innsbruck, the results are encouraging. However, it should be noted that this form of teleportation doesn't allow physicists to teleport the photon itself--only its properties to another, remote photon. Here is the site:

newbielink:http://www.aip.org/physnews/graphics/html/teleport.htm [nonactive]


I'm an aspiring science fiction writer and what I want to do in my story is achieve teleportation by actually teleporting the people themselves, not their properties. So, I began thinking about how I was going to do that. I thought about creating a teleporter that works by converting matter into energy and reconverting the energy back into matter and being able to pass through walls and ceilings, sort of like radio signals.


The thing that concerns me about this concept has some philosophical issues to address.


1) For starters, does conversion of matter into energy and vice-versa in this case imply the person undergoing the process has ceased to exist, only to be replaced by a replica who was literally born into existence once the energy was reconverted back into matter?


2) What other theories or ideas can I use for my story?


Whitestar


 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #1 on: 11/02/2004 08:55:34 »
Hi whitestar, welcome to the forums.  

Teleportation is a cool theory and I think something we may eventually be able to do, but there are some criteria that must be met before we can.  (probably take 500-1000 years or so before we get there)

First of all, there doesn't exist a technology to convert matter to energy then reassemble that matter exactly as it was found...at least not with complex biomolecules.  Thermodynamics has a lot to do with it.  The amount of energy it would take to counteract the HUGE change in entropy of the system of your body is probably quite large.  While "disorder" isn't the correct way to describe entropy, it is analogous when dealing with changing a solid into a system of particles.  

The method of converting the matter to energy is in question too.  I can convert you to energy by burning you, but that would sorta defeat the purpose since we can't un-burn something.  If you're disassembling the human body, there are chemical reactions involved in the cracking of all of those bonds.  You will need one of two things:  a reaction that is spontaneous for the conditions in which you're teleporting or highly developed nanotechnology that is capable of reassembling an organism from other materials.

Addressing the spontaneity, the formula for Gibbs Free Energy (the determinant of spontaneous reactions) is G=H - TS.  Since the entropy change is going to be really really highly negative, you're going to need to operate at low temperatures or have a very high enthalpy (internal energy)  You see, if G > 0, the reaction is impossible.  If G < 0, the reaction is irreversible.  You would need G=0 precisely to achieve this thermodynamically.

Thermodynamics aside (things like nanotech and quantum mechanics might be able to violate it), you're also going to need sufficiently advanced nanotechnology to accomplish the Herculean task of putting a whole living body together from components in a rapid enough fashion that your partial-body doesn't die from being only half formed.  

And in addition to that, you need technology that is capable of reading the location, order, and spatial arrangement of every single atom in your body.  You can't afford to screw up any DNA, enzymes, or hormones on a cellular level.  Imagine getting teleported and all of a sudden you're diabetic, bipolar, and start growing tumors.  (might make for cool stories about early day trials)  You're going to need computing power to retrieve, store, and transmit this mighty load of data.  There are something on the order of 10^10 cells in your body, each cell having billions of atoms.  Just counting them up is hard, let alone noting what other atoms they're bonded to and in what part of the body.

Oh, and you're going to need a good understanding of neuroscience as it's not 100% understood how things like thoughts and memories are perpetuated in the brain (we know the wheres but not the hows)....you'll need a way to decode the brain's electrical signals in order to store and transmit them.  Oh, and what about signal attenuation, data loss and things like that while you're being transmitted?  What about hackers?!  

So, bearing all these advances in mind, I'm thinking you might want to look into something like space-folding or wormholes instead of disassembly-assembly unless you're planning on setting this thousands of years in the future.  I think it would be unreasonable to believe that all of the above sciences advanced that far in a short time from now.

I didn't even open up the philosophical can of worms because I wanted to bore you with the details of the science.  I love reading good sci-fi, but when it's based on nonsense science I might as well be reading fantasy, so I hope you'll bear that in mind when writing this thing.





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Offline Gneiss

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #2 on: 11/02/2004 10:17:30 »
quote:
Originally posted by cannabinoid

Oh, and what about signal attenuation, data loss and things like that while you're being transmitted?

This was my initial thought too and I personally wouldn’t be volunteering for transportation if I thought half the signal was likely to be absorbed by my sofa ;)

Although maybe there is some mileage in a story based on someone experimenting with this idea and the ensuing disaster.
« Last Edit: 11/02/2004 10:18:08 by Gneiss »
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #3 on: 11/02/2004 15:27:34 »
Hi Whitestar, welcome to the forum.  I do some writing too (albeit more editing).  I'd go with teleporting the properties.  You could have teleportation as available to only an elite few.  These people could have clone bodies placed in various locations and kept alive in some sort of life support closet.  They would become alive when activated by transporting the photon properties into them.  This also gives you the opportunity to weave in a sub-plot about stealing bodies by having your "essence" transported into someone else's body, and since it's the wealthy and powerful who have teleportation clones you could have a field day with a stolen clone body.
 

Offline Ultima

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #4 on: 11/02/2004 15:53:58 »
If peeps ever get Quantum Computers off the ground, such teleportation devices will one day be possible. Eventually it will even be possible to model the whole universe so exactly it will be indistinguishable from the reality... one day  :D
Understanding of neuroscience is not a problem if you teleport at a lower atomic level... the only thing that has to be contended with is religious ideas of the soul or spirit :)
In addition if you transport a photon and then give it exactly the same properties as the previous one it can be said to be the same....?


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« Last Edit: 11/02/2004 16:14:33 by Ultima »
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #5 on: 11/02/2004 17:47:37 »
You'd have the whole hassle of preserving the electrical charge in the brain as well as the atoms, so you'd need to be able to pinpoint the locations and momentums of the electrons that make up the activity of the mind, and that would violate the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle since you can't do both with high precision.  Precision would be of utmost importance here as changing the positions of the electrical charges in the brain that make up thought and memory cannot POSSIBLY be good for you.





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Offline Ultima

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #6 on: 11/02/2004 18:09:20 »
Would it not be possible that in the future we use a device that doesn't require measurements of everything, but uses quantum effects such as entanglement on a large scale?

http://www.aip.org/physnews/update/533-2.html

I guess though that the first series of any teleportation device for animals would require a full understanding of genetics, biology and chemistry, before the beefier low-level machines could be dreamed up. That type of machine is more feasible since we could use added biological information to construct a chemical approximation of the original. Transmitting the information as a stream of teleported photons that some sort of nano scale manipulator uses to “build” the animal at the other end. Adding greater detailed information of neuron interactions in the brain…. Is it really necessary to copy the brain at an atomic level???

However, this kind of machine wouldn’t be true teleportation, just a clever cloning machine. In addition, with this level of technology it would probably be easier to send a sentient machine to wherever it is that requires you to teleport an animal.

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« Last Edit: 11/02/2004 18:23:32 by Ultima »
 

Offline Gneiss

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #7 on: 11/02/2004 23:01:39 »
A couple of questions spring to mind here…

Would true teleportation require the person/object to be moved from one place to another as a complete entity?

Can teleportation really be regarded simply as transfer of information from one place to another and then subsequent reconstitution?

Are you not just producing an image, regardless of whether the original still existed or not.
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #8 on: 12/02/2004 01:44:14 »
Well, meat aside, "you" are primarily a collection of electrical charges representing memories and thought patterns.  I don't think generating an exact replica of your meat and "downloading" your brain pattern into it fundamentally changes who you are unless you start screwing around with different bodies.  Much of your memory is related to how YOUR body senses the environment, so being a new body would really gum up the works.  

I contend that by the time we achieve the technology to do this, we could easily create brand new people from component molecules with whatever mental traits, memories, and behavior we wanted.

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #9 on: 12/02/2004 08:45:00 »
I didn't read it all, but I did learn that the first teleportation was done in the ANU, canberra !!!!!!!!!!! like last year or two years ago or something (which is where I want to go when I've finished high school - yay) And Gneiss, teleportation is indeed considered as the movement of information (spontaniously [however you spell that] I think) whole and intact. It's difficult because of heisenburgsthingy but using the states of quantum thingos, and how changing one seems to change the other they can do it !!! (In spite of the fact it was only a photon or something)

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Offline Whitestar

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #10 on: 12/02/2004 19:11:41 »
quote:
Originally posted by Donnah

Hi Whitestar, welcome to the forum.  I do some writing too (albeit more editing).  I'd go with teleporting the properties.  You could have teleportation as available to only an elite few.  These people could have clone bodies placed in various locations and kept alive in some sort of life support closet.  They would become alive when activated by transporting the photon properties into them.  This also gives you the opportunity to weave in a sub-plot about stealing bodies by having your "essence" transported into someone else's body, and since it's the wealthy and powerful who have teleportation clones you could have a field day with a stolen clone body.



Thanks for your feedback. So you're convince that once a person is converted into energy, that individual ceases to exist and is replaced with a replica once the energy is reconverted back into matter. What do you think?

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #11 on: 13/02/2004 01:06:44 »
No, I think the person IS the energy.  Placing that energy into cloned bodies would be like driving several identical red Mustangs.  You can drive only one at a time.  The cars are all different but they look the same.  But while you are driving one car, someone else could slip into one of the other red Mustangs, drive away and commit a crime.  Because it's your car and license plate, other people would think it was you committing the crime.
 

Offline OldMan

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #12 on: 13/02/2004 02:36:31 »
I once read a really good short story by Stephen King that was about teleportation. I think it was called The Jaunt. Any living thing that went through awake although unaged physically died mere seconds after coming out at the other end. The tried drugging mice and sending them through and hey presto they were fine. So they sent through a guy on death row fully concious who popped out the otherside, his eyes or more what you see in someones eyes, had aged tremendously, he said it's forever in there and promptly dropped dead. I think the theory behind it was while physically the transfer was instantaneous the mind was unable to cope with it and it effectively seemed like eternity in a void i think.
That was a cool story. It was in a book of short stories called Skeleton Crew if anyone is interested in reading it.
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #13 on: 14/02/2004 16:14:29 »
What do you mean the person is energy Donnah?

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #14 on: 14/02/2004 16:26:39 »
My interpretation of teleporting:

To teleport, you have to be able to mesure everything about an object, and send the information somewhere where the object is made up again. The difficulty is you can't mesure everything about an object according to heisenburg. So they take a quantum thing and split it in half, both halves are joined together somehow and like communicate somehow, you bounce one off the object and ... well you can use them to mesure everything about the object, I can't remember how. Anyhoo, they teleported a photon a couple of metres because it has only a few different states or something and it was successful. Maybe someone who understands teleportation really well can remind me of how they use the particles that communicate with each other simultaneously :P

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #15 on: 14/02/2004 21:56:48 »
quote:
Originally posted by Quantumcat

What do you mean the person is energy Donnah?

Am I dead? Am I alive? I'm both!



It's like a battery.  It is "alive" when it's charged with energy, but when the energy is drained, it's dead.  You could take a given quantity of energy and put it into any battery "body" and it gives you a "live" battery.

If you want to argue semantics you could say that the body is also part of who we are, and I would have to agree somewhat.  Dr. Maxwell Maltz wrote an interesting book called Psycho-Cybernetics.  Dr. Maltz is a plastic surgeon who noticed that when he changed people's faces, their lives changed.  I have to agree that in our society, unfortunately, looks affect the way we are treated, which in turn affects the way we see ourselves, which affects our attitude, which is part of our energy.

Now we can debate just what the body is.  It's made up of cells, molecules, atoms, quarks, and very likely we could go on this way infinitely.  Let's stop at the atomic level and have a look.  We've got electrons whipping around a nucleus of protons and neutrons and the vast majority of any atom is space.  The movement creates (or is) vibration; energy.  So even the body is mainly energy.
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #16 on: 16/02/2004 10:02:50 »
I thought life was defined by being able to repoduce, needing food, and growing?

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #17 on: 17/02/2004 03:37:00 »
Not limited to that in my mind.
 

Offline OmnipotentOne

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #18 on: 19/02/2004 21:27:51 »
If you could model the whole universe, wouldnt it be possible to speed it up so you could see exactly what happened in the future?
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #19 on: 19/02/2004 22:10:38 »
Doesn't the whole universe include past, present and future?  That aside, if you were powerful enough to model the universe, I suspect that time would be within your grasp.
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #20 on: 12/04/2004 17:49:28 »
quote:
Originally posted by Ultima

Would it not be possible that in the future we use a device that doesn't require measurements of everything, but uses quantum effects such as entanglement on a large scale?




I didn't read everything but I wanted to say that they already did that, at the ANU university in Canberra, Australia. The problem that needed to be mounted in teleportation was the heisenburg thingo, which says that you can't know a particle's position and direction at the same time (because if you know a position it could be going in any direction but if you take two if could do anything in between like an arc of a circle for example not a straight line like you thought, and if you put the two closer and closer together they'll become one point then you'll have the first problem again) (and to teleport, you have to take all the mesurements of a thing then recontruct it elsewhere by sending the information there, and to do that properly you have to know everything about every particle in the object) but you obviously know about quantum entanglement so I don't have to try and explain that lol and they used that to have all the infprmation about a photon then they teleported it about three meters away.

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #21 on: 12/04/2004 17:49:28 »
quote:
Originally posted by Ultima

Would it not be possible that in the future we use a device that doesn't require measurements of everything, but uses quantum effects such as entanglement on a large scale?




I didn't read everything but I wanted to say that they already did that, at the ANU university in Canberra, Australia. The problem that needed to be mounted in teleportation was the heisenburg thingo, which says that you can't know a particle's position and direction at the same time (because if you know a position it could be going in any direction but if you take two if could do anything in between like an arc of a circle for example not a straight line like you thought, and if you put the two closer and closer together they'll become one point then you'll have the first problem again) (and to teleport, you have to take all the mesurements of a thing then recontruct it elsewhere by sending the information there, and to do that properly you have to know everything about every particle in the object) but you obviously know about quantum entanglement so I don't have to try and explain that lol and they used that to have all the infprmation about a photon then they teleported it about three meters away.

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Offline Whitestar

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #22 on: 24/04/2004 04:57:13 »
quote:
Originally posted by cannabinoid

Hi whitestar, welcome to the forums.  

Teleportation is a cool theory and I think something we may eventually be able to do, but there are some criteria that must be met before we can.  (probably take 500-1000 years or so before we get there) So, bearing all these advances in mind, I'm thinking you might want to look into something like space-folding or wormholes instead of disassembly-assembly unless you're planning on setting this thousands of years in the future.




1) Do you think teleportation that works by disassembling a person at the atomic level will be possible in the far future?


You mentioned that teleportation might be a reality between 500 to 1,000 years from now.


2) How do you think it would probably work?


Whitestar
 

Offline Whitestar

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #23 on: 26/04/2004 03:02:04 »
quote:
Originally posted by cannabinoid

Hi whitestar, welcome to the forums.  

Teleportation is a cool theory and I think something we may eventually be able to do, but there are some criteria that must be met before we can.  (probably take 500-1000 years or so before we get there)

First of all, there doesn't exist a technology to convert matter to energy then reassemble that matter exactly as it was found...at least not with complex biomolecules.  Thermodynamics has a lot to do with it.  The amount of energy it would take to counteract the HUGE change in entropy of the system of your body is probably quite large.  While "disorder" isn't the correct way to describe entropy, it is analogous when dealing with changing a solid into a system of particles.  

The method of converting the matter to energy is in question too.  I can convert you to energy by burning you, but that would sorta defeat the purpose since we can't un-burn something.  If you're disassembling the human body, there are chemical reactions involved in the cracking of all of those bonds.  You will need one of two things:  a reaction that is spontaneous for the conditions in which you're teleporting or highly developed nanotechnology that is capable of reassembling an organism from other materials.

So, bearing all these advances in mind, I'm thinking you might want to look into something like space-folding or wormholes instead of disassembly-assembly unless you're planning on setting this thousands of years in the future.  I think it would be unreasonable to believe that all of the above sciences advanced that far in a short time from now.



But imagine for the sake of argument that teleportation were to be accomplish by converting a person into energy and you had the technology to reverse the process. In addition, you send the information along with the energy.



1) The question is, would the person survive the procedure, or would the individual cease to exist and be replaced with a replica, who was literally born into existence once the energy was reconverted back into matter along with the information?


You mentioned that if I decide to set the story 500 to 1,000 in the future, I may employ the disassembly/assembly teleporter.


2) Are you saying that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle will eventually be broken or bypassed in the far future?


Whitestar
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #24 on: 26/04/2004 15:11:06 »
It would seem to me that if you truly put all the pieces back together exactly as they were in the first place, then by definition, the person would survive and the "replica" would be indistingushable from the original.

As for the Heisenberg Uncertainty, it is part of Quantum Mechanics, which I have never really felt was complete.  A lot of real scientists feel the same by the way.  I believe it is entirely possible that we may overcome this in the future.

As to how far in the future, science appears to be progressing at an exponential rate.  If this curve continues, it may not be centuries, but merely decades to develop technologies that now seem completely impossible.  Consider what someone in 1900 would think of the technology of 2000 - a lot of things are happening that would have been "impossible".

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Re: Teleportation
« Reply #24 on: 26/04/2004 15:11:06 »

 

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