Much as it looks like it, that’s not a picture of a giant, overly complex pinball machine. No, it’s actually a transporter, much like on Star Trek, but this transporter works on the principle of light wave quantum teleportation.
The ability to teleport beams of light around isn’t new; they’ve been doing it for years. What is new is that this device, created by a team of scientists from Australia and Japan, can do it both quickly and reliably.
This is pretty huge news because the inability to teleport light quickly and reliably was one of the big hurdles standing between us and insanely high-speed quantum computing. The team had to overcome Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which essentially states that when measuring things at the quantum level, you can know either its position or its velocity, but you can’t know both. Yes, you read that right; they had to come up with a Heisenberg Compensator, for my fellow Trek geeks. Turns out that such a thing is actually possible, thanks to the thought experiment of Erwin Schrodinger known as Schrodinger’s Cat, in which an object is placed in a state of “superposition” where its state is unknown and so, in quantum terms, it exists in both states. (The cat is alive and dead at the same time.)
For reliable and fast teleportation of information, you wrap the information to be transmitted up into a similar superstate, then teleport the superstate “container” and remove the information afterward. I won’t pretend to know exactly how that works, but I will line up to add my name to the first available preorder list for quantum computers. Any time now guys… any time.
John P. says
Sweet. But I’ll tell you one thing. They are not putting me in that infernal contraption! Dagnabit.