Even though body teleportation is currently science fiction, the idea is not so far-fetched.
Today, quantum teleportation is a reality.
Quantum teleportation is a technique for transferring quantum information from a sender at one location to a receiver some distance away. While teleportation is commonly portrayed in science fiction as a means to transfer physical objects from one location to the next, quantum teleportation only transfers quantum information.
Experimental determinations of quantum teleportation have been made in information content – including photons, atoms, electrons, and superconducting circuits – as well as distance with 1,400 km (870 mi) being the longest distance of successful teleportation by the group of Jian-Wei Pan using the Micius satellite for space-based quantum teleportation.
Today teleportation is a standard phenomenon in quantum optics laboratories and has become a foundational technology behind the slowly emerging quantum internet.
In the 2000s, a Japanese physicist called Masahiro Hotta at Tohoku University took the idea further by suggesting that if teleportation can transmit information, then it should also be able to transmit energy too. He went on to develop the theoretical foundation for quantum energy teleportation.
Now Kazuki Ikeda at Stony Brook University in New York state, says he has succeeded in teleporting energy for the first time using an ordinary quantum computer. “We report the first realization and observation of quantum energy teleportation on real quantum hardware,” he says, adding that the ability to teleport energy could have profound implications for the future quantum internet.
“Beam me up” is one of the most famous catchphrases from the “Star Trek” series. It’s the command issued when a character wishes to teleport from a remote location back to the Starship Enterprise.
While human teleportation currently exists only in science fiction, teleportation is possible now in the subatomic world of quantum mechanics — albeit not in the way typically depicted on TV. In the quantum world, teleportation involves the transportation of information, rather than the transportation of matter.
So is teleportation possible at all? Yes. Scientists have been able to achieve teleportation of a single particle.
In recent years, scientists and researchers have been able to teleport particles on the subatomic level through quantum entanglement, which occurs when the properties of one quantum particle affect another particle that’s located somewhere else. This is enabled by a third particle that “instantly ‘teleports’ its state to the two entangled particles,” according to the National Science Foundation. If you are a fan of Mass Effect, the long-distance Quantum Entanglement Communicator from the second and third games in the trilogy work in precisely this way.
While seemingly unattainable, it is not actually impossible according to the laws of physics … it just depends on scale.
In 1993, a group of six international scientists discussed the idea that teleportation is possible on the subatomic level, and demonstrated the transportation of systems such as single photons, coherent light fields, nuclear spins, and trapped ions. While perhaps disappointing for the avid traveler, quantum teleportation cannot be applied to matter, but could be revolutionary in transporting information and in the creation of quantum computers; perhaps — according to some experts — even leading to a quantum internet in which the limitations of current networks are overcome with improved privacy, security, and computational capabilities.