A Bus for Scotty; June 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by Philip Yam; 1 Page(s)
Added to the list of weird phenomena in the quantum world is an effect that resembles teleportation. For non-Trekkers, that¿s the dissolution of a body or object at point A and its reconstitution at point B. An international team of investigators argues that it is possible to disembody the quantum state of a particle into classical and quantum parts and then, at another location, recombine those parts into an exact replica of the original quantum state. The convenience of this kind of transport, if fantasy for humans, seems to exist for quantum particles.
One of the architects of the scheme, Charles H. Bennett of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, reported the calculations at the March meeting of the American Physical Society. The idea makes use of the distinctions between information transmitted by classical methods and that conveyed by quantum means. Classical data, such as these words, can be observed and copied but cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Quantum news, in contrast, cannot be observed without disturbing the particle and destroying its quantum state, nor can it be copied reliably. Furthermore, quantum information under the right circumstances seems to travel faster than light.