Scientists long scoffed at Star Trek style teleportation, but now they’ve changed their tune. While they don’t think they’ll be able to instantly move people from place to place, Swiss scientist Nicolas Gisin has been able to make small amounts of matter disappear down a telephone line in one laboratory and reappear in another, 180 feet away. “It is amazing, the way information from one photon suddenly appears in another photon,” says physicist Raymond Laflamme.

Albert Einstein called this “spooky action at a distance.”

“I would say it’s spooky if we put on our everyday glasses,” Laflamme says. “But if we try to understand it with the set of rules of quantum mechanics, then it is perfectly understandable.” Teleportation will revolutionize computers and bring new life to crytology, since the information being sent never actually exists on the communication line on which it travels, so there’s nothing to intercept.

But can human beings can ever disappear in one place and reappear in another? “Unimaginable,” says LaFlamme. “Quantum teleportation doesn’t teleport the atoms themselves; it teleports the information which is encoded in the system.”

Nevertheless, scientists now think there’s an energy field that binds everything in the universe together.

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