Star Trek is no more, but most of us still long to be able to travel through teleportation, especially in these days of long lines and personal frisking at airports. Teleportation may be a reality sooner than we think, because scientists are taking it seriously.

Leonard David writes in that it all has to do with the quantum state, in which tiny light particles (photons) can take on different forms depending on how they?re observed. Researchers have successfully teleported beams of light a short distance.

In Teleportation?the Impossible Leap, author David Darling says, “One way or another, teleportation is going to play a major role in all our futures. It will be a fundamental process at the heart of quantum computers, which will themselves radically change the world.”

The journal Nature has just reported that scientists have teleported atoms for the first time. This was done by two teams of US researchers, working independently from each other.

Teleporting something three-dimensional, like a person, would require a machine that can keep track of the more than trillion trillion atoms that make up the human body, then send that data to another location to be reassembled?in the right order.

This is the real future of space travel. Instead of taking thousands of light years, and many generations of astronauts, to reach a distant planet, they could be teleported there. This would be the way ETs have reached our planet?and why their presence is so hard to verify (because they keep teleporting back and forth from their home to Earth).

Would teleportation actually “move” atoms, or would it, in effect, create a clone of you, so that you would be in the new place and the old place at the same time? And if that was the case, which body would really contain “you?” So far, we don’t know the answers to these questions. But Darling insists that teleportation “will someday be accomplished.”

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