Teleportation IRL: Quantum Entanglement

Have you dreamed of teleporting somewhere, instead of spending hours in a train/car/plane? Well, the time of instant teleportation could be here sooner than we think. There is a theory in quantum mechanics called quantum entanglement, and it could be the solution to what was once only science fiction.

The math behind this is pretty complicated, and even professionals in the field are only beginning to understand how it works. The practical application behind it is fascinating, and much easier to explain. Quantum entanglement is a state when particles are so connected to one another that they cannot be distinguished from one another, no matter how far apart the group of particles are from one another. Anything you do to one particle effects the other particle in the same way. If I tickle a particle in Boston, a particle in China entangled with it would also feel the tickle. This minutephysics video summarizes it pretty well:

So why is this useful or relevant? While, through quantum entanglement, what you do to one particle effects all of the other particles. In practical application, this could revolutionize communication and transportation. In the world of communication, you could send encrypted messages during war time, and there would be no way the enemy could interfere or decipher what is being said. This could also bring about a quantum internet, which would be more secure than the current internet. After all, if the quantum internet means that things travel directly to their destination, with no interference from other sources, then there is no opportunity for hacking or compromising the security of your information. The sacrifice that comes with this is that a quantum internet would most likely be slower than our current internet speeds. Is this a worthwhile sacrifice, or do we need to work toward a compromise of the two systems?

This article from The Washington Post talks about a very recent experiment where is the first teleportation experiments have begun very successfully in China. Photons on earth that were 700 miles apart were beamed onto a satellite orbiting 300 miles overhead. This is the longest case of quantum teleportation ever to occur, and the first step in one day making teleportation something real and accessible to the masses.

Quantum entanglement is so beautiful to some, it has been turned into a true art. Perhaps it is through this art that the average person can come to truly understand quantum entanglement. For now, it’s just incredible to see the many possibilities that can come from it, and to think about the day that I can travel across the world near the speed of light.

Where would you go if you could teleport? Would you give up internet speed for a more secure communication process? Tell us in the comments!