Scientists working independently in Boulder, CO, and Innsbruk, Austria, have successfully teleported an atom
, reports NYT
. Though they are far from being able to teleport large objects, such as away-teams or exploding anti-matter, they hope the technology will be helpful in developing computers capable of processing many complex problems at once rather than having to calculate each possibility separately. Here's how they say atom teleporting works:
First, atoms B and C were brought together, making them "entangled" and creating an invisible link between the two atoms no matter how far apart they were. Atom C was moved away. Next, A and B were similarly entangled.
Then the scientists measured the energy states of A and B, essentially opening the boxes to see whether each contained a 1 or a zero. Because B had been entangled with C, opening A and B created an instant change in atom C, what Albert Einstein called "spooky action at a distance," and this, in essence, set a combination lock on atom C, with the data in A and B serving as the combination.
For the final step, the combination was sent and a pulse of laser light was applied to atom C, almost magically turning it into a replica of the original A. Atom A was teleported to atom C.
Hehe.. "spooky action at a distance."