Monday, June 04, 2007

end of the lollipop, sewing, beam me up

Upright on a bench in the Grove, an elderly lady, enjoying, to the last lick, one of those choc ices on a stick.

Through an open window and a gauze curtain comes, with momentary interruptions, the unmistakable whir, whir of a sewing machine.

According to day's paper the science behind the process of teleporting as in the Star Trek films is not entirely fanciful. Remember the phrase "Beam me up Scotty". At present teleporting potential is limited to information. In due course, why not people? I wouldn't know, but it is lovely to speculate about. The operative term is "quantum entanglement" which relies on the fact that two photons can be created in such a way that they behave as a single object even if they are separated by large distances. The teleportation machine is explained by the fact, says the science editor of the Independent, that changes to one photon cause similar changes to the other. A third photon is teleported from the proton in the transmitting station to the photon in the receiver. In the process, the third photon becomes entangled with the transmitting photon, and so carries its quantum information to the receiving photon, which interacts with the third photon in such a way that it becomes identical to it. The study from which this information comes is published in the journal Nature Physics.

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