Note: This is a discussion rather than a how-to.
Date: October 7, 2003 (Tuesday)
<RainTurtle> Good evening, ladies and gentlemen
<RainTurtle> Tonight, we are going to discuss teleportation. Any of you here to learn how to actually do it, are in for a severe disappointment and might as well leave now
<RainTurtle> Tonight’s topic came about on a lark….I was thinking about what to run a seminar on, and decided to take a “skill” out of an rpg rulebook at random….just my luck, teleportation is the one that came up
<RainTurtle> I expect that you’ve heard of teleportation, roughly defined as a really fast way to get from Point A to Point Z without bothering to go through Points B through Y?
<RainTurtle> It may surprise some of you to learn that teleportation is actually done in the real world.
<RainTurtle> Some scientists in various labs around the world have been playing with the teleportation of photons, and some slightly larger particles, for the better part of a decade.
<Graelb> any successes?
<RainTurtle> Moving much larger things, such as coffee and humans, a la Star Trek, does not actually violate any known laws of physics (other than the uncertainty principle of quantum physics, but that was “solved” by the “Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Effect)…the problem is merely one of engineering.
<RainTurtle> It can’t be done mechanically,…yet
<Dan> iirc – Some info was published back in the Spring in a Scientific American special edition.
<RainTurtle> *nods* Was also published in several periodicals back in 1997
<RainTurtle> There is still some debate was to whether the actual photon is transported, or merely a translation of that photon’s state….
<Andy_Hock> Is there a difference?
<RainTurtle> Either way, it has possibilities for very fast communications
<RainTurtle> Andy: yes, but it is at the theoretical level…far beyond my understanding
<Dan> Physically Andy, yes. practally, maybe not.
<RainTurtle> Communications are big-business, of course, so you may be assured that further investigation is underway by the physicist folks
<Graelb> of course
<RainTurtle> Questions so far?
* Aphanas has a question, but it could probably wait a bit (it may be answered in the next section).
<RainTurtle> Go ahead and ask now, Aphanas….otherwise it might get lost
<Aphanas> Heh… OK. My understanding of the current state of photon teleportation (based on the PSC links), is that the teleportation process is communicated by “entangling” two photons…
<RainTurtle> That does indeed seem to be the most common explanation
<Aphanas> …which allows communication of information between the two objects…
<Dan> Not exactly.
<Aphanas> Dan, could you please elaborate? I’m not sure that I really understand the subject then, and that may affect my question.
<Dan> Ok – The particals are “entertwined” but no communications between them.
<Dan> The entertwining causes the two particles to effectively be “identical”
* Graelb ‘s heard something like this before
<Dan> One PHOTON doesn’t really carry useful information.
<Dan> However, a SERIES of photons, could…
<Graelb> rocks resonating at the same frequency miles apart
* Graelb shrugs
<Dan> You force one set into a series of states with a meaning – the entertwined (paired) particles reflect the same states, and this can be read.
<Mistyck> or seashells?
<Graelb> Maybe…. i think it was in a book by phillip pullman
<Dan> Could be.
<Aphanas> OK, that would make more sense for communications systems then. My original question was, how would you “entangle” objects that are larger than particle-sized, in order to generate the effects that physics is currently seeing at the sub-atomic level with photons? i.e. – as far as I am aware, the Schroedinger’s cat example only works at a quantum level and not in the ‘real world’ to my understanding.
<Aphanas> And would it be possible to somehow “entangle” real-world objects with some psionic method?
<Dan> With current understanding in Physics, I believe you are correct.
<Mistyck> it *would be* really cool if someone could figure out a handy-dandy way to use it with psi. One that doesn’t nearly kill you
<Jael> Are the scientists using psi or other means for their current teleportation tests?
<RainTurtle> Which brings us to the next bit of the discussion
* Aphanas has actually wondered if that entangling process might be how we communicate now (what we call links).
<RainTurtle> Aphanas: interesting observation….certainly bears more consideration
<Andy_Hock> Hmmm . . .
<Andy_Hock> (Things that make you go “hmmmmm” . . . )
<Dan> Concievable, but very hard to measure currently.
<RainTurtle> Teleportation of larger objects, and sometimes even living beings, has allegedly been done psionically
<Graelb> Have you seen any of these firsthand?
<RainTurtle> I say “allegedly” because I have not recently witnessed any such first-hand (and too much of my memory is missing or messed up from “not recently” to attest with certainty to earlier stuff)
* Graelb nods
<RainTurtle> However, I’ve heard accounts from otherwise credible witnesses with _nothing_ to gain and much to lose from such tales
* Graelb nods
<Graelb> sehr interessant
<RainTurtle> That said, thirty or so years ago there was a cheesy BBC science fiction series which featured a bunch of teenagers who’d suddenly acquired psionic abilities. Among those abilities was teleportation.
<Graelb> What was it called?
<RainTurtle> They had mechanical assistance in navigation, from a sentient computer, though, to keep them from accidentally rematerialising in the ground, or over the Pacific….
<RainTurtle> _The Tomorrow People_, I think it was called, Graelb
<RainTurtle> They ran re-runs of it in the late 80s
<Graelb> *writes it down* thanks
<RainTurtle> No problem
<Mistyck> wonder if they have or will have re-runs on PBS
<RainTurtle> That “navigation” bit is one of the major obvious risks in teleportation….how sure are you that you’ll “arrive” somewhere that will not kill you? Or indeed in the correct century?
<Dan> Or even in one piece…
<Graelb> Ooh time travel possablities
<Mistyck> ending up in the 16th century might be interesting
<RainTurtle> One of the more credible accounts of teleportation with which I am familiar, slipped in time slightly…
<RainTurtle> That too, Dan
<RainTurtle> (Same guy ended up in hospital, if memory serves correctly)
<RainTurtle> Mistyck: Interesting, sure….as in the ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”…
<Mistyck> I wonder how many of us would be “bored” because we would have no TV, no DVDs, no Internet
<Mistyck> there would be books though
<Graelb> we’d have swords!
<Dan> You’d be too busy trying to stay alive…
<Graelb> rain already has one though
<Kid_Energy> that would be interesting to find out what people would do
<RainTurtle> A possible way around this is to use Katherine Kurtz’s idea of a complex and psi-intensive construct on each “end” of the journey. She called them “transfer portals”, and setting one up in her -entirely fictional- portrayals was a major undertaking…and _still_ ‘porting was not entirely safe and easy
* Mistyck has a real and functional “Highlander” hanging over her fireplace
<Mistyck> two-handed for lil ole’ me though
<Aphanas> Rain, I’ve wondered about setting unique points based on Feist’s Riftworld Saga. Wizards in that (also completely fictional) series used unique engraved floor patterns to teleport to a specific location.
<Mistyck> and that’s amazingly similar to Katherine’s use of portals too. When was Riftworld first published?
<Dan> I believe – in that case the patterns were used to help the mind “lock onto” the coordinates.
<RainTurtle> *nods* Not entirely unlike Katherine’s portals….but they need a psychic signature to grab onto, otherwise the pattern won’t help too much
<Dan> Also – sufficiently powerful “magicians” didn’t need to use the patters (Pug comes to mind).
<Aphanas> Yep, that sounds correct to me. There was also a grave danger in teleporting when tired, because if the mind didn’t “lock” onto the correct location psychically, they might find themselves in the middle of a mountain, etc.
* Mistyck idly wonders how many fantasy writers were influenced by the original Star Trek series. Katherine freely admits she was influenced by it
<Graelb> did they die?
<RainTurtle> Judging strictly by what I’ve heard from people who’ve allegedly done it, the sheer amount of “energy” required would make it gravely dangerous to attempt when tired
* Kid_Energy raises hand
<Mistyck> and that leads me to ask: Did Gene Roddenberry practice psionics/was very interested in it?
<RainTurtle> For the insanely reckless, stupid or possessed-of-a-deathwish, radionics devices might be tried in place of the portal-construct
<Graelb> why would that be insanely reckless?
<Kid_Energy> Do you think that people will ever be able to teleport with not having any problems?
<Dan> Ever is a LONG time.
<RainTurtle> And I guess it would depend on what you mean by “not having any problems”….taken at face value, that’d mean it’d have to be safer and easier than driving a car or paddling a canoe.
<Dan> And, that said – iirc – automobiles are the leading cause of death in the US….
<Mistyck> someone needs to do a controlled study on it if it hasn’t already been done (regarding people trying to teleport somewhere that is)
<RainTurtle> My point exactly, Dan
<Mistyck> are there any studies on human beings trying teleportation?
<RainTurtle> I’m unaware of any such formal studies being published
<RainTurtle> There are rumours of such, but unsubstantiated
<RainTurtle> Graelb: personal opinion, here, but I regard experimentation in this field, using living creatures as the subject-to-be-moved, to be insanely reckless….at least until consistent results are obtained moving inanimate objects
<RainTurtle> Any questions?
* Aphanas raises hand…
<Mistyck> nope, thanks for indulging my curiousity
<RainTurtle> No worries
<Aphanas> I was wondering if it would be OK to bring another completely reckless topic into the conversation, as it may shed some light on theoretical teleportation?
<RainTurtle> Sure, if there are no further questions on teleportation first?
* Dan notes it wouldn’t be the first time this may have happened…
<RainTurtle> Dan notes correctly
<RainTurtle> Go ahead, Aphanas
<Jael> It sounds like the scientists are _not_ using psi at this point?
<RainTurtle> Some are, Jael.
<Aphanas> Rain, you mentioned an odd thing with your phasing experience once, that your clothes phased with you into a chair… that may indicate that your psionic frame of mine considered your clothes as part of “you”…
<RainTurtle> *nods* Likely so
<Graelb> or that it isn’t just YOU that phases, rather your field and everything within
<Aphanas> I’m wondering if that could be considered another type of “entangling”… If that kind of thing is possible (not safe, but possible), it might indicate a place to start with teleportation, by trying to entangle two inanimate objects together, and then see if you could move one to the other.
<Mistyck> interesting notion, Aphanas
<Aphanas> Not quite sure how you would figure out if they were entangled, but I thought that might be a place to start investigating for the curious.
<RainTurtle> quite so. I don’t know if it would work, obviously, but it sounds possible
<Graelb> i don’t quite get it though
<Graelb> if you phase two object together they’re already in the same place
<Graelb> so you couldn’t move them
<RainTurtle> Entangle, or otherwise connect them psionically, not phase them, Graelb…if I understood his musing correctly
<Graelb> Oh, ok *got it now*
<Aphanas> Graelb, the objects wouldn’t be phased together (Rain and her clothes weren’t), they would be linked psionically.
<Aphanas> Thanks, Rain.
<Graelb> try it rain! hehe
* Graelb kidding
Some useful reading on the subject of teleportation:
http://www.geocities.com/grymse/quantum.html (not active)