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Michio Kaku's teleportation device

  1. Sep 27, 2012 #1
    So this guy proposed a teleportation device which might one day be feasible, using technology similar to MRI scanners. Since such scanners can create high resolution, 3D models of the human anatomy, Kaku figures that at some point in the future, the resolution would be so high that each pixel in the scan would represent a single atom, which the computer could store as binary code. Assuming we had the space to store the billions of terabytes that would be needed to represent an entire human, there's one thing that really bugs me: Can you really represent an individual atom as just one byte of information? What about the protons, neutrons, electrons? What about the quarks, and the strings within if they exist? I understand that this machine is purely science fiction right now, but I'd like to know if you can really represent an atom with such a small amount of information.
     
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  3. Sep 27, 2012 #2

    mfb

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    Maybe not, but that is just related to the electrons.

    With a few exceptions, a nucleus in the human body is always in its ground state, and this just needs 1 bit of information (maybe even less with some compression). Maybe the orientation of the nuclear spin counts as 1 qubit.
     
  4. Sep 27, 2012 #3

    Drakkith

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    Are we talking quantum teleportation, or like star-trek teleportation?
     
  5. Sep 27, 2012 #4
    to assemble a copy on the other side you not only need to know what type of atom but also its energy states, positions, all the gears turning inside, etc. plus which direction is it moving and where it is. Impossible.
     
  6. Sep 28, 2012 #5

    mfb

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    It is possible to teleport states of the electrons (source), the position and movement are not necessary in the teleportation process to get an identical atom at a different place.
    If you want to teleport macroscopic objects, I doubt that the exact spatial wavefunction matters at all. The right molecules at the right place (up to ~.1nm) with reasonable kinetic energy (~1/40eV per degree of freedom aka room temperature) should give an object where you do not see any difference.
     
  7. Sep 28, 2012 #6
    you go first.
     
  8. Sep 29, 2012 #7
    A presumption is that because the information stored within a computer and then eventualy reproduced, what you actualy end up with is a copy.Imagine the moral and ethical repercusions if it were possible, what do you do with the orginal even if it did belong to the teleported.
     
  9. Sep 29, 2012 #8
    That was not exactly the question but you raised an interesting technical point: it's not a teleportation device but a cloning device.
     
  10. Sep 29, 2012 #9

    mfb

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    On the quantum-mechanical level, it is a pure teleportation - you ruin the quantum state of the initial system. On a macroscopic level, you can indeed clone objects if you can scan and assemble them atom by atom.
     
  11. Sep 29, 2012 #10
    [edit:] OK it can be a "teleportation" of quantum states, but not of atoms. And as you argued (I think), it may not be useful to fully "teleport" quantum states when cloning atoms.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  12. Sep 29, 2012 #11

    mfb

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    You cannot clone the quantum-mechanical state of atoms.

    You can copy a macroscopic object similar to a copy of a lego construction: Build it molecule by molecule. However, the states of those molecules will be different, so the copy is not perfect.
    This is similar to a copy of a lego design: You can get the same arrangement of blocks, but the individual blocks will be a bit different. Quantum mechanics allows you to actually teleport the precise state of the blocks - the remote version will be exactly like the original, but that original gets destroyed (you can re-build it with other blocks, however).
     
  13. Sep 29, 2012 #12
    I did not suggest such an impossible thing. And while one can mess up ("destroy") the atom states with MRI, that surely won't (shouldn't!) kill the person at that place. Once more: the topic here appears to be not really about teleportation of states, but about cloning of atoms.
    I don't think that one byte/atom will be enough though, already because of the necessary location information.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
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