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Question about teleportation

  1. Apr 9, 2008 #1


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    I was just watching a documentary and in it they talk about the recent success in teleportation by some Austrian scientist... What they said was that basically the information is copied to somewhere else and the original is destroyed... the new one, in a new location, is perfectly identical to the original...

    My question is - if a human is teleported with this technology sometime in the future, wouldn't he/she just be an identical one to the teleported human but not really him/her? I imagine if I go into a teleporting machine, I'll pretty much die... but somewhere else another person is out there and he is like me down to the atom, and remembers going into the teleportation machine so as far as he's concerned it worked... From my end though, he' just a clone, closer to me than a biological clone as the bastard has all my memories, but still a clone...

    Can someone please clarify this stuff for me? :p

    Oh and are there other technologies, or concepts in physics, that allow for actual teleportation, really moving something? Wormholes?

    This is kind of scary, imagine teleportation being a normal part of our daily lives, and thousands or millions of people using it every day... all those people would be committing suicide, but the result coming out of the other teleportation gate is identical so the world will still go on... Creepy. @_@
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2008 #2
    The question is a philisophical one, and not a scientific one. Answer me this, O Seeker. If you are greater than the sum of your parts (your soul if you will) then, if a machine measures every single particle, and its moment etc. and in the doing destroys the original to re-create it at another point you face a choice.

    1) Uncertainty Principle. A thing cannot measure you without being changed. This provides the information for recreating the part in a remote location, but if in anticipation of such a dissolution any part of you reacts, knows in a measurable sense, then it is recreated. In essence, both your body AND soul, and something special and uncertain about which bits get which are transported. No living zombie....sorry.

    2) Symantec Difference. If you have no "soul" or special edge then you are just your biological self. If it is recreated somewhere else, it is made somewhere else, and lo and behold, there you are! You have no "spirit" so nothing that can "die" in the sense you imply. Or at least, if there is, you are the first man after Jesus to live through your very own Ressurection. With documentation, which will pretty much give you top dollar for speaking tours for the rest of your "life".

  4. Apr 9, 2008 #3


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    I don't believe that there's a 'soul' or any such thing, I'm just a bunch of atoms. What I was asking was if that teleportation technology is just destroying and copying or moving... because there's a difference to me. Yeah the copied one would be identical, but still not me. If someone made a copy of me without destroying me, I could have conversations with the clone that looks and acts exactly like me and has all my memories but from that moment on our lives would diverge as we'd experience life differently.

    I just remembered something, have you seen The Prestige? Spoiler warning - at the end when we find out how the machine tesla built actually worked... the copied person killed the one that went in... it seems to me that in the teleportation technology by that austrian scientist, the machine itself does the killing but that's the only difference.
  5. Apr 9, 2008 #4
    Just had another thought.

    Imagine an OOB. You have an Out Of Body experience and while you are off doing whatever someone moves your physical body from one bed to another. Do you come back to the your starting point and "die" because your body moved? While not scientific by any stretch, the literature says no. You snap back to your body and experience disorientation because you are not where your "spirit" expected, but are still you. So if I move your body a couple of light years away, you still go there. Just with disorientaiton, perhaps magnified, perhaps not. Plausible? I still think it's philosophy, not science.
  6. Apr 9, 2008 #5
    Then you are conflicted. If the "YOU" that is the collection then "YOU" teleported, not a collection, the actual you. Because the parts are broken down to the sub atomic parts to teleport. The only way the "YOU" is different from "YOU" is if at some level you believe the collection of atoms that is "YOU" is somehow "different" that the "YOU" that is an identical copy. Tell me how you know the difference and then we can get somewhere.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  7. Apr 9, 2008 #6


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    I don't know... two carbon atoms are identical but they're still two separate ones. If something copied me I'd still be different, or maybe not different but separate, than the copy. Killing me, the original, doesn't mean that I teleported into that copy... If someone said they'll kill you but at the exact moment you died they made a copy of you would you consider that copy to be you...?

    By the way, I'm not a physicist and the documentary didn't go deeply into this teleportation matter so it could be that part of my misunderstanding is because of this.

    The technology is decades away, if even possible at this scale, and I'm already developing teleportation phobia and worrying about it, heh. Irrational anxieties suck.
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