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Quantum Tunneling: The Key To Teleportation?

  1. Oct 25, 2004 #1
    Recently, I posted a thread on theories on teleportation:


    I discussed about how the transporter in Star Trek operates and why it would never work. Any procedure that convert matter to energy would be deadly and reconstruct person from this energy is a clone, not the original. In addition, the disassembly of crew members at the atomic level is not a viable option either due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. However, there may be a way to teleport a human: quantum tunneling.

    Today I read an article on the net about quantum physics and in one section, the author mentions about quantum teleportation. Here is a quote from the author:

    "Teleportation: As the probability wave suggests, you can get from Point A to Point C without necessarily passing through Point B. Small particles can jump from one location to another without actually moving through space between points, which is sometimes called a 'quantum leap'. In theory, this could be extended to larger particles."

    And here is the link:


    In Quantum tunneling a particle can bypass a barrier and appear on the other side of it without traveling thru it. The process is responible for radioactive decay of elements where an alpha will tunnel out of the nucleus of Uranium atom and then under go beta decay. Electronic use Quantum tunneling of electron in certain transitor (such as a Tunneling diode).

    Now Quantum tunneling is due to the fact that particles have a wave function. This Wave function is the possibility of a particle being at speciific location. If you could control this possibility wave you can transport a particle to any location that it could have travel to or will travel to. Do this with a person, and you could teleport him without turning him to energy or breaking him down into his basic molecules and beaming him.

    All you would need is to know his wave function (yes people have a wave function, and even the universe can be express as one) and alter it in a manner (how I have no idea) that alter his possibility of his location to place him where you wish him to be. He would suddenly be at that location, in a instant.

    All that is require is finding a way to manipulate the wave function of the particles involved. We do this all the time to beams of particles like photon and electrons. Take the double slit experiment for example. By closing and opening a single slit we can determine whether particle like a photon, proton,neutron or electron behave like wave or steams of particles.

    Not only can we effect the path the particle take but actually where it impact on the target, without applying a physical force to the particle itself. Basicly we are shaping the possiblitily wave in a manner that defies common logic and how this is done is one of the mystery of modern physic.

    What causes the Quantum wave form to collaspe, determining when or where a particle appears. We know when we attempt to measure a particle it happen, but the mechanism of how it happen is unknown. If we knew how the Wave function is force to collaspe then we may be able to effect the outcome.

    We could at will make a collection of particles like a human behave like a wave and then change the location by forcing the wave function to collaspe with the possibility that he some where else.

    What does everybody else thinks?

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2004 #2


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    If it can be done, they will do it.

    Quantum teleportation so far has been teleporting the wave, the state of the particle, and essentially building a new particle at the new location, possessing the original state. So this would be the kind of "beam me up" that destroys you at your old location and rebuilds you at the new one. Lord help you if there's a power filure!
  4. Oct 26, 2004 #3

    I think a more likely scenerio would be to place an extended field around a body, cause this field to go into superposition, and collapse the field superposition at a new location, carrying the body with it.

    Another similar possiblility is an E/M wormhole. You could place the extended field around the body here too, and have the field ride the E/M wormhole to another location, carrying the body with it.

  5. Oct 26, 2004 #4

    But would this kill the teleportee?

  6. Oct 27, 2004 #5

    I do elieve that an adequate teleportation system could be devised that would work without killing the traveler.

    It might be a series of shorter range jumps rather that one long jump. Other matter inbetween the jump points would have to be taken into account.

  7. Oct 27, 2004 #6
    Quantum travel

    I have a question: Does any one know if the double slit experiment works for protons and neutrons? (usuallly one only reads about photons and electrons used in the double slit experiment.) If it does,then maybe there is a future for "quantum" travel. If not, then people will probably never "quantum" travel.
  8. Oct 28, 2004 #7
    I don't know about the double slit experiment in particular as relates protons etc,, but quantum superposition and interference effects occur for entire atoms and molecules.

  9. Nov 2, 2004 #8
    Hmm... I myself have only read very lightly and non-mathematicaly on that subject, but here are my thoughts regarding what you're saying:

    "People, and even the Universe, can be expressed as a wave function"

    I think this was adressed many years ago, and still, I might be wrong, by Bohr and the other "quanticists". As it is true that the double-slit experiment does have a wave-like pattern, the waves created must rather be interpreted in terms of probability, and not of determining the position and speed of each and every particle by a wave pattern.

    You cannot have functions, may they be wave-like or other, to determine the speed and/or position of an electron, or any other quanta. Hence I think it's better to think of it as (and again please correct me if I'm wrong) "People, and the Universe, can be expressed as _probability_ waves." but that does not give us the exact functions or "predictability" of their constituants.

    But also since people live in an environnement surrounding them and the particles within the "person" interact with those of that environnement, how could you make up for the difference of interaction (hence of alteration of probability waves?) the environnement has on the person? In other ways of putting it, what's the difference between a particle that's a "leg particle" and one that's a "right-next-to-the-leg particle" if they both have an effect on each other? What would happen if the leg particle suddenly "found" it wasn't surrounded by the same "next-to-leg particles" anymore?

    Anyways... this might all sound rather uneducated of me. And I am :), but additional feedback would gladly be appreciated. It strikes me as of writing this that I should perhaps go into physics rather than math in university. I'm curious to know if any of you "physics-people" had any similar conflict as to the direction of his studies?

    Amen, Frank.
  10. Nov 3, 2004 #9
    Are you saying that the whole states of atoms can be converted from one place to another, and move through objects like they were rocks going through air?
  11. Nov 3, 2004 #10
    Hi Avemt1,

    From my understanding of QM, it is possible to put combined objects such as atoms and even large molecules into states of superposition. I don't know what the size limit is or whether their is really one, theoretically.

    Atoms have been put into superposition and the two states separated in experiments with beryllium atoms.

  12. Nov 3, 2004 #11
    Hi Whitestar,

    In has been speculated that the QM superposition (or wave function) collapses due to some function of the strength and asymmetry of its interactions with the environment.

    I think this might have some application to quantum tunneling. If the particles extended field exists on the other side of the barrier, an interaction of sufficient strength and asymmetry could pull the particle's center to the other side of the barrier

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2004
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