from DavidDarling Website


A study, called the "Teleportation Physics Study", on the feasibility of exploiting the phenomenon of teleportation for military purposes. It was carried out in 2004 by Eric Davis of Warp Drive Metrics, Las Vegas.


(Davis prepared an article "Wormhole Induction Propulsion" for the 1997 NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Workshop, has been affiliated with the privately-funded National Institute for Discovery Science, Las Vegas, and has been involved with UFO studies).


According to the introduction to the final report:

"This study was tasked with the purpose of collecting information describing the teleportation of material objects, providing a description of teleportation as it occurs in physics, its theoretical and experimental status, and a projection of potential applications.


The study also consisted of a search for teleportation phenomena occurring naturally or under laboratory conditions that can be assembled into a model describing the conditions required to accomplish the transfer of objects."

The author considered the following possible forms of teleportation:

  • Teleportation SciFi: the disembodied transport of persons or inanimate objects across space by advanced (futuristic) technological means (adapted from Vaidman, 2001). We will call this sf-Teleportation, which will not be considered further in this study. See transporter (Star Trek).

  • Teleportation psychic: the conveyance of persons or inanimate objects by psychic means. We will call this p-Teleportation. See psychic teleportation.

  • Teleportation engineering the vacuum or space-time metric: the conveyance of persons or inanimate objects across space by altering the properties of the space-time vacuum, or by altering the space-time metric (geometry). We will call this vm-Teleportation.

  • Teleportation quantum entanglement: the disembodied transport of the quantum state of a system and its correlations across space to another system, where system refers to any single or collective particles of matter or energy such as baryons (protons, neutrons, etc.), leptons (electrons, etc.), photons, atoms, ions, etc. We will call this q-Teleportation. See quantum teleportation.

  • Teleportation exotic: the conveyance of persons or inanimate objects by transport through extra space dimensions or parallel universes. We will call this e-Teleportation.


Also called teletransportation, the process of moving from one place to another without traveling through the intervening space. Teleportation is well known in science fiction, most famously in the form of the transporter in Star Trek.


The term embraces both psychic teleportation, a subject not taken seriously by most scientists, and physical teleportation. The latter is now a scientific reality in the form of quantum teleportation.


See also US Air Force teleportation study.

A brief history of teleportation

When teleportation goes wrong - The Fly


The term "teleportation" was coined by Charles Fort (after whom the term "Fortean," for an anomalous phenomenon, derives) in his book Lo! (1931). The idea of a matter transmitter first appeared much earlier than this, however, in Edward Page Mitchell's story "The Man Without a Body." Arthur Conan Doyle developed a similar theme in one of his Professor Challenger tales, "The Disintegration Machine" (1927).


In Special Delivery (1945), George O. Smith describes how transmitters scan an object atom by atom and then take it apart, storing the particles in a "matter bank." The information and energy released during the breakup are then beamed to a second station that uses raw materials in its own matter bank to recreate the body perfectly.


E. A. van Vogt, in The Mixed Men (1952) and Algis Budry, in Rogue Moon (1960), also used tapped the possibilities of the technique.

Not only did teleportation afford writers a quick way of getting their characters from A to B, but the perils and possibilities of the device itself offered new narrative potential. George Langelaan's short story "The Fly," which formed the basis of the classic 1958 horror film of the same name, explored the dire consequences of a teleportation gone wrong.


Scientist Andre Delambre, while researching matter transmission, suffers the gruesome effects of dematerializing at the very moment a fly enters the teleportation chamber. His molecules mingle with those of the fly, and he begins a slow and agonizing transformation into a giant insect.

By the 1960s, "transfer booths" for personal international and interplanetary jet-setting had become SF de rigueur. Clifford Simak put them to good use in his novel Way Station (1964), while Larry Niven featured them in his award-winning book Ringworld (1970).


And then, of course, there was Star Trek with its sparkling transporters able to "beam up" crewmembers in the wink of an eye.

Making teleportation real
Recommended book

Today, far from being a science fiction dream, teleportation happens routinely in laboratories all around the world in the form of quantum teleportation. This is restricted at present to tiny particles, such as individual photons, or to quantum properties of atoms. But the question naturally arises as to whether it will ever be possible to teleport larger objects and even human beings.

The issue here is one of complexity. Teleporting an electron or an atom is one thing, but an average human body is made up of about 7,000 trillion trillion atoms. How could the instantaneous quantum states of so many specks of matter be made to dematerialize and reappear perfectly in a different place?


Human teleportation isn't going to happen tomorrow, or, barring some stupendous breakthrough, in the next few decades. However, that needn't stop us from thinking about the consequences if it ever does become possible.


In fact, a number of philosophers have already used teleportation, and teleportation incidents, to delve into the mysteries of personal identity.

Who gets teleported?

One of the features of quantum teleportation the only form of teleportation that allows the creation of a perfect copy of the original someplace else is that the original is destroyed. Does this matter? One argument says it doesn't because a perfect copy is as good as the original. At the atomic level, all particles are identical.


Also, the stuff in our bodies is constantly being replaced anyway. Even without teleportation, atoms and molecules are continually streaming into and out of your body, so that over time every bit of matter of which you're made is exchanged. According to one estimate, you're completely replaced at the cellular level about every seven years.


So teleportation wouldn't do anything qualitatively different from what happens in the normal course of events. It just happens to replace all of your particles in one fell swoop rather than over a period of time. Another argument insists that teleportation, far from being an efficient form of travel, is equivalent to death.


A person who believes in the soul may also believe that, whereas the physical body can be teleported, the soul cannot. But even leaving the soul out of it, it's possible to argue that becoming a perfect clone means becoming someone else.

Perhaps non-quantum forms of teleportation will be developed and applied to human beings. Then the original would not need to be destroyed, thus raising the specter of multiple nearly-identical copies of a person being created. Would each of these new individuals have the same rights as you part ownership in all your belongings, some share in your spouse?


A non-destructive teleporter could be used as a replicator, for virtual medicine (manipulating the stored data to create a copy better than the original), travelling into the future (creating a copy many years after the information was stored), or making backup copies (creating a copy from recently stored information if the original was involved in a mishap.)

Transporter (Star Trek)

The device, first seen aboard the Starship Enterprise in the Star Trek original series, which made the concept of teleportation familiar to a wide audience. "Beam me up, Scotty" became one of the small screen's most oft-repeated lines (though trivia hunters will find that "Beam me up, Mr. Scott" is the closest the show actually came to that immortal line).


In the twenty-third century world of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, shuttlecraft are used only in special circumstances when beaming someone's molecules around might prove a health hazard. But, ironically, the reason that Trek mastermind Gene Roddenberry chose to equip his starships with "transporters" had less to do with high-tech future possibilities than with low-tech Beatles-era reality.


It wasn't feasible, in terms of budget or sixties-level special effects, to show convincingly a spacecraft landing on a different planet every week. Much easier to have a crewmembers shimmer out in one scene, then twinkle back an instant later someplace else. With realistic computer graphics still a couple of decades away, the effect called for plenty of ingenuity and homespun improvisation.


The sparkling dematerialization and rematerialization sequences were created by dropping tiny bits of aluminum foil and aluminum perchlorate powder against a black sheet of cardboard, and photographing them illuminated from the side by a bright light. When the characters were filmed walking into the transporter, they stepped on to the pads, Kirk gave the order to energize and the actors stepped off.


In the studio lab, after the film was developed, the actors were superimposed fading out and the fluttering aluminum fading in, or vice versa. By 1994, when production started on the fourth TV incarnation of the franchise, Star Trek Voyager, computer graphics was well into its stride and a new transporter effect was devised in which little spheres of light expand to cover the person, a shower of fading glitter providing a node to the past.

According to The Star Trek Encyclopedia, the transporter,

"briefly converts an object or person into energy, beams that energy to another location, then reassembles the subject into its original form."

A key element of the Trek-style transporter is the so-called annular confinement beam (ACB), a cylindrical force field that channels and keeps track of the transportee from source to destination.


It seems that the ACB first locks onto and then disassembles the subject into an energy- or plasma-like state, known as phased matter. The subject's matter stream is fed into a pattern buffer (a hyperlarge computer memory that briefly stores the individual's entire atomic blueprint), piped to one of the beam emitters on the hull of the starship, and then relayed to a point on the ground where, all being well, the ACB will put the subject back together again.


There's even a component of the transporter, called the Heisenberg compensator, designed to sidestep one of the most basic laws of quantum physics Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

Transporter malfunction!
One (or two) of William Shatner's better performances as Kirk came in Star Trek's first-season episode, "The Enemy Within."


Having beamed up from a mission on the planet Alpha 177, Kirk feels faint and is helped from the transporter room by Mr. Scott.


A moment later a duplicate Kirk appears on the pad. Apparently the magnetic effects of an ore on the planet's surface interfered with the transporter and caused it to split the captain into two selves: one good but incapable of making decisions, the other evil and strong-willed. In this interesting twist on the Jekyll and Hyde theme, it becomes clear that the two halves can't survive apart and that the violent, animal-like component is just as essential in making Kirk an effective leader as his benign side.

Transporter fission turns to fusion in the Voyager episode "Tuvix," when crewmates Tuvok, the Vulcan security officer, and Neelix, the spotty Talaxian, longtime antagonists, are merged during a teleportation into one person. The resulting Tuvix harbors the memories of both progenitors but has a single consciousness. Initially confused and ambivalent, Tuvix eventually carves out a clear identity and personality of his own, and when a means is discovered to undo the mix-up caused by the transporter accident, he objects, not unreasonably, on the grounds that it will kill him.


Captain Janeway is faced with the moral dilemma of either ending the brief existence of a distinct, unique individual who has become well-liked among the crew, or denying the rights of Tuvok and Neelix to resume their separate lives. Ensemble casting and contractual arrangements being what they are, Tuvix is consigned to oblivion.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Second Chances," an identical copy of commander Wil Riker is created. Years ago, while a then-lieutenant Riker was beaming up from a planet's surface through severe atmospheric interference, the transporter chief locked on to Roker's signal with a second tracking beam. When this second beam turned out not to be needed, it was abandoned but not lost.


Unbeknownst to everyone on the ship, the ionic disturbance in the atmosphere caused the second beam to be reflected back to the planet and result in the creation of a second Riker. Fast forward eight years and the two Rikers meet.


Confusion reigns, Riker-2 gets together with Riker-1's old girlfriend before matters are resolved, and Riker-2 departs to pursue his separate existence.

Psychic Teleportation

Sometimes referred to as psychoportation, a putative form of teleportation achieved by psychic or other non-physical means. It is not to be confused with quantum teleportation, which has been scientifically verified, on a very small scale, in the laboratory. Psychic teleportation was one of the forms addressed in a U.S. Air Force study of teleportation carried out in 2004.

Of course, the idea of people vanishing from one place and mysteriously reappearing in another goes back thousands of years.


Stories of ghosts and spirits are at least as old as civilization and probably very much older, judging by the beliefs of primitive tribes today. In Oriental mysticism and Western occultism there's the notion of apport: an object or person winking out in one place and, driven by some unknown mental power, materializing somewhere else, perhaps far away. The Buddha reputedly vanished from India and reappeared shortly after in Sri Lanka.


Devotees of the Indian yogi Satya Sai Baba hail him as the current king of apport.


Other instances of supernatural transport crop up in the Bible, including one in Acts 8:39-40:

"The Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip... But Philip was found at Azotus."

Also high on the list of odd comings and goings is bilocation the phenomenon of being in two places at once which is talked about in Catholic philosophy.


Several Christian saints and monks were supposedly adept at this, including St. Anthony of Padua, St. Ambrose of Milan, and Padre Pio of Italy. It's said that in 1774 St. Alphonsus Maria de'Ligouri was seen at the bedside of the dying Pope Clement XIV, when in fact the saint was confined to his cell four-days' journey away.


Many such tales of strange materializations were collected by Charles Fort, who coined the term "teleportation" in his 1931 book Lo!.

Quantum Teleportation

The only form of teleportation that is currently a scientific reality and the only form of teleportation in which it is known that an absolutely perfect copy of the original is created.


Quantum teleportation, an outgrowth of quantum information science, enables the transfer of a quantum state to an arbitrarily distant location. However, the so-called "no-cloning theorem" stipulates that, in the process, the original quantum state is destroyed.


Because the physics if quantum teleportation is somewhat esoteric it may be useful to outline it in familiar terms.

A birthday analogy
A basic quantum teleportation involves three parties say, three friends: Alice, Bob, and Claire.


Claire wants to send Bob, who lives some distance away, a present for his birthday but has left it to the last minute. The only way it will arrive on time is by teleportation. She also doesn't have much money. All she can afford is the polarization state of a single light particle the direction in which a solitary photon is vibrating.

Claire isn't very good at teleporting things, so she asks more technosavvy Alice to help. Alice can't simply look at Claire's polarized photon (X) and send the result to Bob because the act of looking making a direct measurement would cause a random change, in accordance with the uncertainty principle) so that the measurement wouldn't be identical to the photon's original state.


The key to getting a perfect copy to Bob, as Alice knows, is by not looking, even surreptitiously, but by instead using the weird phenomenon of quantum entanglement. What's needed are two more photons, A and B, that have been created in such a way that they form an entangled pair. One member of the pair, B, is sent directly to Bob, while the other goes to Alice.


Alice now takes her entangled photon, A, and combines it with Claire's unseen photon gift, X. To be precise she measures A and X together in a special way known as a Bell-state measurement.


This measurement does two things:

  • it causes X to lose its original quantum state identity

  • it also causes an instantaneous change in the entangled photon that Bob has received

Bob's photon alters to correlate with a combination of the result of Alice's measurement and the original state of X. In fact, Bob's photon is now in either exactly the same polarization state as the photon that Claire bought for him or in a state that's closely related to it. He doesn't yet know which.

The final step is for Alice to send Bob a message by conventional means, such as a phone call, to tell him the result of her Bell-state measurement. Using this information, Bob can transform his photon so that, if it isn't already, it becomes an exact replica of the original photon X. The transformation he has to apply depends on the outcome of Alice's measurement. There are four possibilities, corresponding to four quantum relations between photons A and X.


Which one of these Alice obtains is completely random and has nothing to do with X's original state. Bob therefore doesn't know how to process his photon until he hears from Alice what she found out. He may, for example, have to rotate the polarization through 180 degrees, or he may have to do nothing at all.


When he's made whatever change is necessary, he's guaranteed to have a perfect copy of the present that Claire got for him a photon with exactly the same polarization state as the original X.

Aspects of quantum teleportation
A few points are worth emphasizing.

  1. First, for all practical purposes, photon B has become the original photon X, while X itself has been permanently altered (it has effectively lost all memory of the quantum state it started out with) so that it is no longer X in any meaningful sense. This is why the effect is called teleportation: it's equivalent to X having physically jumped to the new location, even though it hasn't moved materially at all.

  2. Second, X's state has been transferred to Bob without Alice or Bob ever knowing what the state is. In fact, this lack of knowledge is the very reason that teleportation is able to work. Because Alice's measurement of A and X is completely random, it sidesteps Heisenberg's uncertainty principle; entanglement then primes Bob's half of the entangled photon pair automatically.

  3. Third, teleportation relies on there being two channels or conduits for information a quantum one and an ordinary or classical one. The quantum channel supports the link between the entangled photon pair and operates instantaneously, as if there were no separation between Bob and Alice.


    The classical channel carries the information that Alice has to provide to Bob to be able to ensure that his photon is an exact replica of the original X or, if it isn't already, that it can be made into an exact replica by a simple operation. The necessity of this classical channel, across which signals can travel only at light-speed or below, means that teleportation takes time even though the entanglement part of it works instantaneously.

  4. Fourth, there are no limits in principle to the distance over which teleportation is effective. An object or property could theoretically be teleported across many light-years. But, again, the process couldn't happen faster than the speed of light and there's be enormous technical difficulties in making it work over such large distances.

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