Skip to comments.Scientists Transfer Info Between Atoms (Star Trek Teleportation is REAL!)
Posted on 06/16/2004 1:54:18 PM PDT by vannrox
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For instance, someone could send himself winning lottery numbers from the future...and I'm guessing that guy in West Virginia is not a physicist.
Put Sundog on it, Pat.
You might be, but then so am I.
After I'm dead and my spirit is on the way to Heaven (or Hell, but Heaven I hope) I sure don't want it it get infected with a virus some teenager created while he was playing with this "spooky action at a distance" teleporter thing.
It IS ..SPOCK..!!!
But superluminal transportation would not enable one to send messages from the future into the past. It would enable one only to send messages from the present into the future.
They are, in effect, the same thing.
As far as I can see, whether it's Star Trek or Cal Tech, the only difference between 'Beam me up!' and 'Tea, Earl Grey, hot', is in the first place the original item is destroyed as it's copied, and the second, the item is copied from a pattern previously saved.
Lots of questions to be asked and settled if this is truly real. It's the the effect of preverbal perpetual motion machine, even if the physics works. If you can copy the atoms of an object, then you can have unlimited objects. Unlimited Oil, unlimited gold, unlimited food. The entire economic base falls flat on it's face as everything valuable becomes worth only as much as the energy needed to copy it. Star Trek indeed!
That's before you consider the actual questions of teleportation by making a copy on the other end. If you were to step in, and they fail to complete the transfer, there really could be two of you! What if some judge is having a snarky day and rules that your wife is now a widow because your original body was physically destroyed in the move? How could you ever be sure it was really 'you' that stepped out, and not a saved copy days later to be manipulated into some nefarious act or experiment?
Paranoia comes easy when the possibilities are real. ;)
As a kid, I always wondered what it was like to have been born with barely a working telephone available, and see atomic power and computers and the internet... Not any more.
That's pretty neat, but it only seems to quantify just how corrupted a data message should be if it's transferred via entanglment. I suppose we have some good ECC from microprocessor technology that would help reconstruct the corrupted portions, but I wonder just how reliable such a transmission technology would be. Any thoughts on this?
While an interesting bit of science ( and one that merely confirms much of what is now called "modern" phsysics), your title is not only misleading it is out and out wrong. To transfer "state" information from one atom to another is NOT the same as making atoms move from one location to another....Don't get so excited...this is the natural progression from research that has been ongoing since the 80s ( that I am aware of)
I'm pretty sure superluminal communication would send messages from the future into the past. We can already send messages into the future. We're doing it right now.
But how is uncertainty relevant to the conjectured application? Why isn't this reply from Buggman adequate?
"Forgive me if I'm wrong, but Heisenburg simply states that you can't know both the location and the velocity of a given subatomic particle at the same time--the more accurately you pin down one, the "fuzzier" the other gets. We can still accurately detect spin just fine, so how would this affect ansible communication?
Why and how? I'm unaware of any speculated property of superluminal communication that would support such a statement.
We can already send messages into the future. We're doing it right now.
Yes, obviously, but I hope you know what I meant without my having to spell it out..
OK...now I'm really confused. Wouldn't a faster than light transfer of information arrive before it was sent? That would imply to me that the information would go from the future into the past.
Here's something I've posted a time or two before, which I will repeat here in pretty much the original wording. "Physicist" has much more to say on this topic, so I'm pinging him in case he has any input.
Here's why an instant communications system creates time paradoxes:
Let's say you take off from earth in a ship that travels around 99% of lightspeed, fast enough for you to experience the effects of time dilation. And before you take off, you synchronize clocks with your buddy back home (synchronized clocks are a standard bit of equipment in these thought experiments). You've also got that mythical "subspace radio" which keeps you in instantaneous contact with earth. In due course, I shall demonstrate the impossibility of that device.
Okay, as you accelerate to 99% of lightspeed, less time is passing on ship than back home. You're not aging as rapidly as you would if you stayed home. This is apparent only in comparison with earth, however. On the ship you notice nothing odd. But your once-synchronized clocks are no longer in sync. Yours is now showing less time passing than the clock on earth (from earth's point of view). This is standard stuff, plain old special relativity.
After a while, let's say your ship clock is a day behind the earth clock (never earlier than launch date, however, as that would be quite impossible. The divergence commences after that point). Now you receive a message from earth: "Terrible news! President Hillary Clinton assasinated! USA in mourning." This message comes over your "subspace radio," so it's an instantaneous communication. However ... you have accelerated away from earth, so your clocks now register an earlier time than that on earth. If the message is sent on earth's July 4th, you receive it on your ships's July 3d. Okay. You're still with me, right? Get this next point, because it'll make your brain ache. Because of the relative velocity between the two reference frames, the sender's clock is later than the receiver's clock. This is always going to be true -- in all reference frames.
Now you get on the supspace radio and send your condolences back to earth: "So sorry to learn of the July 4th assasination of President Hillary Clinton." Ah, but here comes the catch. You are sending this message on your July 3d. Because of your acceleration away from earth, from your point of view -- which is just as valid as earth's viewpoint -- it's earlier on earth than it is on your ship. So your message travels instantly and gets to earth on July 2nd. Earth's July 2nd. And they now know of the event before it happened.
No, you say. Why would it get to earth earlier? Why? Because earth's message got to you earlier than it was sent, and it always gets where it's going earlier than it was sent. There are no privileged reference frames. From the point of view of your ship, earth accelerated away from you and is experiencing its own time dilation effect. It works both ways.
So your subspace radio allows messages to be sent into the past, which generates all kinds of paradoxes; and it is generally accepted that no such contrivance is possible. One of the advantages of a lightspeed limit is that it keeps the universe from going crazy.
But note that it takes large distances for this to have any significant "back in time" effect. So if there is a technique for exceeding lightspeed over a small distance, there's no major problem. We won't be receiving any messages from tomorrow.
If you're troubled by having Earth in the scenario, then consider two ships out in space somewhere, at rest relative to each other. They synchronize their clocks. Then they each accelerate in opposite directions, each moving very close to lightspeed, better than 99.5% of c, fast enough for each ship to experience significant time dilation. And they communicate with each other instantaneously. (In Heinlein's novel, he used twins who were telepathic for this.) Each ship has its clock slowed down with respect to the other (I think this is the result), so each one is sending messages "into the past," and they will be received at the other ship "earlier" than they were sent. As they exchange messages back and forth, each ship is receiving messages from the "future." Same paradox, but we leave earth out of it.
Thanks. Yes, that's how I thought it worked.
Not so much for the transporter - but it might make for good subspace communications.
Sub-space communications? ;-)
But, that's what makes it
In reply to PatrickHenry, your pasted post contains a dreadful logical fallacy. I will post a detailed reply to that later.
* Wouldn't a faster than light transfer of information arrive before it was sent?
Which leads us to:
I meant to add that I will post a more detailed explanation to your question as well, as soon as I have the time.
Not precisely, if I understand it correctly (and I might not). It would appear to to someone observing the point of origin through light-waves, but to take my earlier example, while you might be observing the earth as it was 10 years ago from a point 10 light-years away, the earth isn't actually 10 years younger--that's just how long the light took to reach there. If you sent an ansible signal to earth, you wouldn't see an instant result--you'd have to wait ten years for the light waves carrying the result to reach you.
If I'm wrong, please someone explain how and why.
Hmmm . . . I'm not sure I buy that, but let's play with this. First, a question: From earth, you would appear to be slowing down, whereas from your vantage point, earth's activities (her clock) would appear to be accelerated, wouldn't they?
Are you quoting Einstein?
I'm Probably Overly Optimistic, But I BET we "Transport" "Inanimate Objects" within the Next 10 Years!!
"Human Technological Knowlege" ALWAYS seems to be AT LEAST 10 Years Behind Human Research!!
Invariably, we will encounter abberrations unforseen as we attempt to use this Method of "Transport," but we will "Find a way " to "Make This Work!"
If we can "Transport" ANYTHING using this Method--We'll Figure Out a Way to Do It!!
Dangit! We ALL coulda gone to wedding-moot!
No, each would observe that the other's clocks had slowed down. So it would always be, unless the ship decelerates, turns around, and accelerates toward earth again. Then you have a situation where the ship's clocks have been through some motions that earth had not experienced. This gets complex, and I'll rely on Physicist to go into detail (as I always do when I'm over my head). When the ship gets back to earth, it becomes obvious that it's only the ship's clocks that had slowed down.
Hmm, again. I see where you're going with this, but then we have to ask the question of why the twins' paradox happens, since the two clocks would simply sinc up again when our hypothetical ship flew back towards the earth and both parties observed the other's speeding up.
"Dangit! We ALL coulda gone to wedding-moot!"
The clocks never sync up, and neither sees the other's clock speeding up. Acceleration always slows a clock down. But when they are brought together, in the same frame of reference, the ship-board traveler and earth-bound fellow will both agree that it's the ship's clock that had slowed down.
Dunno. The only thing transported by this experiment was information.
No, I don't think so.
I know he had a cameo appearance in at least one episode...
but that was on the Holodeck.
I don't remember him ever being in the transporter room.
I see what you're saying, and it seems correct intuitively, but a lot has been written on the causality problems of instantaneous communication across large distances, so I would reckon there must be something to it.
Thanks. This stuff makes my head hurt. :-P
You're correct. Misuse of terms. Five yard penalty (to me).
I think I will try to reread this thread tomorrow, and see if I can understand more the second time around. Thanks to all who have been explaining this effect. It sounds quite important.
That would be Firesign Theater - I think "We're all Bozos on This Bus", but it has been quite awhile. I'd probably also need some doobage to shake the memory loose...and that ain't gonna happen.
Something about that isn't sitting right with me. Maybe I just need to chew it over (it's been many years since I tried to figure out relativity). "Acceleration" according to what viewpoint? And if the effect of any acceleration in any direction is to always see the other clock as slowing down, wouldn't that cause light from the other source to seem to be moving faster or slower than c (an effect that relativistic effects are supposed to cancel out, so that all parties always observe light from every source to be precisely c)?
Heh - it's making me dizzy. I think I feel neurons going into seizure.. =) I'm gonna brew a pot of coffee and then I'll give it a shot. I think I have the explanation (as best I understand it) almost focused in my mind's vision..
If time travel was possible, visitors from the future would already have been here. Personally, I would have traveled to 1986 and invested $10,000 in Microsoft and laid another $10,000 in Vegas that the Red Sox would lose the World Series to the New York Mets in 7 games.
The problems that I've seen discussed seem to be logical and conceptual rather than mechanical. Scientists are naturally leery about Star Trekkian time travel paradoxes--which is as they should be.
On the other hand, I'm not seeing that instantanious communication would actually go back in time. Then again, I'm probably wrong about that for some reason that still escapes me. *chuckle*
Actually it is Firesign Theater's album "How Can You Be in Two Places At Once When Your Not Anywhere At All?"
Basically, researchers can use lab techniques to create a weird relationship between pairs of tiny particles. After that, the fate of one particle instantly affects the other; if one particle is made to take on a certain set of properties, the other immediately takes on identical or opposite properties, no matter how far away it is and without any apparent physical connection to the first particle.
OK, so you establish the relationship between two particles of unstable matter, say Plutonium. Then let soem bad guys get hold of a load of Plutonium big enough to make a nasty bomb out of, but you've managed to insert one half of your "coupled" pair into this critical mass. Let the bad guys smuggle their ill gotten gains to, oh, I don't know, UBLs lair. You then simply place the "lonely" particle in an atom smasher at the focal point of your beam and I think you might be able to trigger a dandy little surprise for the baddies.
Going back to the ST transporter, I've never been able to figure out why they never used IT as a weapon. Say beaming out a big chunk of the side of your enemies ship, or his engine core. Would have nasty effects.
Now watch this comment be pulled... reason... loose lips.