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Scientists Teleport Two Different Objects

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Posted on Oct 5, 2006

Danish researchers “beamed” (Star Trek style) information from light to matter—a first in science. We can’t pretend to understand this article. But it seems significant.


Reuters:

Beaming people in Star Trek fashion is still in the realms of science fiction but physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.

Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second.

But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.

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By Stephen Smoliar, October 5, 2006 at 6:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It will probably be some time before most of us begin to get our minds around this.  Part of the problem is that the scientists who are most wrapped up in the details of the research are frequently poorest at explaining just what it is they are doing (and why it matters).  When they DO try to explain things to the general public, they often trip over their own shoelaces.  That remark about light and information (one carries information and the other stores is) is a case in point.  What made these phenomena even imaginable was the discovery that light could not be classified neatly as either energy or matter, so Polzik is just fumbling with his words in that quote.

Think of it this way:  Before Einstein the study of physics could be compartmentalized into the study of energy and the study of matter.  Einstein demonstrated that they were convertible, either could be changed into the other (at least in theory).  Towards the end of the last century, physicists started adding information to the “mix” of fundamental “compartments” (except that they were no longer compartments);  so it became natural to ask questions about conversions involving information, as well as energy and matter.  We are now seeing the first steps from theory into practice.  Since the theory is hard enough to explain, it is almost impossible to give a good account of the practice!

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