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B How close are we to portals?

  1. Jun 9, 2016 #1
    Sorry, this might be a question you can only answer with speculation, but if anyone has any idea of how close we are to teleportation of inanimate objects or creating portals, I would love to know. I have always found teleportation and portals to be super cool.
    From what I've heard, in order for something to be teleported, one needs to create a digital copy of all of the atoms in that thing, gather the necessary atoms in the desired location to be teleported to and entangle both sets of these atoms, then, one needs to reverse the entanglement and destroy the original copy of the item. This is the way I've heard it described by scientists. To me, this just seems like extra complex cloning except that it would(theoretically) work over infinitely long distances. Are there any other Hypotheses or theories on how a portal would be made or how teleportation might exist?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2016 #2


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    We are nowhere close. Teleportation is, as far as we know, impossible. Your description is known as Quantum Teleportation I believe, but that is not the same as a portal or the standard teleportation as portrayed in most sci-fi stories and movies. It doesn't teleport matter anywhere, it just transfers states of particles/systems.

    There are none that I know of that have any basis in real physics.
  4. Jun 9, 2016 #3
    Thanks :)
  5. Jun 9, 2016 #4
    The way you described it looks not too far from opening a new car factory overseas. They send the digital "copies" and they collect the desired materials and start manufacturing copies. Just that they don't have to destroy the ones already made at home. :smile:
    Doesn't sound like too much "teleportation".
  6. Jun 10, 2016 #5
    The only concept in modern physics that is remotely related to "portals" ( I take it you mean something along the lines of "Stargates", or Dan Simmon's "Farcasters" ) is that of wormholes. To start with, wormholes are a purely theoretical concept - they are ( at least in principle ) valid solutions to the gravitational field equations, but that does not necessarily mean that they are physically realisable. There are different types of such constructs, but what is needed to construct one of your portals would be a wormhole that is both stable and traversable - to the best of our knowledge, this would require the existence of a substance called "exotic matter", in order to keep the mouth of the wormhole open and stable. Unfortunately, exotic matter as a concept is just as hypothetical as are wormholes themselves, and there is to date no empirical evidence for the existence of either. Even if there was, actually creating an artificial traversable wormhole with the required properties would very quickly run into problems for which we don't have solutions, not even in principle; to pick just one example, if you somehow create the mouth of a wormhole at a given location, how do you precisely and with high accuracy control where ( and when ! ) its other "end" will be ? Also, it seems to me ( someone correct me if I'm wrong on this ) that the mouths of wormholes are always hidden behind event horizons. And then there is the small matter of the sheer amount of energy required to create such constructs. And so on.

    I think it is fairly safe to say that, based on current scientific knowledge and consensus, a "Stargate" is a highly improbable, if not outright impossible, concept. Though I agree it would indeed be cool :cool:
  7. Jun 10, 2016 #6
    Scientists? That's what they say on Star Trek . . .

    Trouble is, knowing the positions of all the billions of atoms (and their constituents too) still isn't enough; you also need to record and reinstate all their velocities.

    Trouble is, the uncertainty principle says that is not possible.

    I'm reasonably sure teleportation will never happen ;)
  8. Jun 10, 2016 #7


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    If one wanted to teleport a major league pitcher in the middle of a pitch and still have him hit the corner of the strike zone with a curve ball then one would need to do a decent job preserving the average velocity of the molecules in his hands, arms, body and legs. One would not need to preserve the individual velocities of every molecule. Lots of pitches hit the corner of the strike zone.

    How close you have to get to have a living person instead of a pile of meat and how close you have to get to have the "same" person with the same memories instead of a drooling idiot with a similar appearance is not at all obvious. Still, we take it for granted that the "you" at this instant and the "you" one second from now are the same person in spite of the fact that the velocities of all of your constituent molecules are vastly different at the two times.
  9. Jun 10, 2016 #8
    Thanks for all the replies everyone!
    And to those saying that it sounds like I'm talking about what they do on Star trek and not scientists, I have never even seen Star Trek! I was referring to a study where scientists successfully 'teleported' an atom 3 meters away(though it wasn't really teleportation).
  10. Jun 10, 2016 #9
    I agree that based on current knowledge, it is highly unlikely ( to say the least ) that either teleportation or portals will ever happen. However, there is another topological construct that may be feasible in the ( very ) distant future - it's called a Krasnikov tube. While it is in itself just as hypothetical as wormholes, it would avoid many of the associated issues such as the need for exotic matter etc. Creating such a distortion would still require massive amounts of resources though, and taking advantage of its effects would also need travel close to the speed of light; nonetheless, Krasnikov tubes are doable at least in principle, given enough resources and the will to do it. There is nothing that rules them out a priori ( at least to the best of my knowledge ).
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