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I Why teleportation, time travel, virtual reality haven't happened yet?

  1. Jan 22, 2016 #1
    (I apologize beforehand if I'm asking such an 'amateur' question , I admit that I'm not a physics student / physicist nor scientist / science student ,.. but , as just a 'normal ordinary' person, at least I am very interested in these things ,. and how I deeply wish Humanity / Mankind can 'leap forward' make a *real breakthrough* progress for us ourselves , Humanity / Mankind .. so here goes the question) :

    if Reality / Real World / Real Life is that boring , mundane , & limited , and if Science Fiction is so much more interesting than the real Science facts , then why all those 'sci-fi' (science-fiction) technologies (just like in the movies / novels / games / anime etc ) like teleport / teleportation , time travel / time machine , outer space travel , & Virtual Reality have not been invented / progressed much yet ?

    Why do we Humanity / Mankind waste all our efforts (& Money) only on those petty , stupid , shallow , and meaningless things ? Why Science & Scientists haven't really taken those major/big 'leap of faith' or 'quantum leap' , basically REAL BIG / HUGE 'breakthrough' progress by inventing all those 'super cool' technologies and turn them into reality ?

    thank you very much ~
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2016 #2


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    Virtual reality is alive and well, thank you (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality).
  4. Jan 22, 2016 #3


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    By adding "if" to start that sentence, you were actually assuming things, right. It's also probably your own personal view of real world/life. However the fact is, there are other groups of people who regards the real life science and technology is interesting, in fact that's what fuels the research activites that are currently going on in the labs. But as you have admitted that you are no scientist, I can understand your false assumption/generalization.
    The naming of this kind of science being science fiction is not without reason. Either because it's too difficult to realize with current technoloy or simply impossible to exist.
    Real life science and technology are not meaningless. Count how many things around you which are products of real life science and technology.
    It's not that easy.
  5. Jan 22, 2016 #4


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    Teleportation and time travel are impossible, virtual reality is progressing but there are extremely difficult/impossible barriers to reach the kind of virtual reality that that you commonly see in Sci-Fi, and space travel is expensive and very, very slow compared to the staggeringly huge distances between planets and stars expensive since all FTL technologies are entirely made up as a 'hand wave' by the author/writers. We really don't have any chance of developing technologies that the laws of physics outright tell us are impossible, but even the non-impossible technologies still take lots of time and money to invent or improve.
  6. Jan 22, 2016 #5


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    Fiction is fiction. It isn't real/true.
  7. Jan 22, 2016 #6
    The technologically easy stuff is already here. I.E. We've already picked the low hanging fruit.

    Virtual reality is coming along.

    Someone previously mentioned teleportation as impossible. I have a different take on that. Teleportation of documents is old technology (fax machine). Now you can use cameras and various other sensors to make a virtual 3D model of an object. You can then use a 3D printer to make a copy of that object in another location (3D fax machine?). That sounds like teleportation to me. At this stage of development, you can only teleport very simple objects. As scanning, modeling, and printing technologies improve, the level of complexity of teleportable objects will increase. What the eventual limits of complexity will be, and whether living things like people will be within those limits, is anybodies guess.
  8. Jan 22, 2016 #7


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    That's not really how the word teleportation is used. The definitions I've seen describe it as a transfer of an object or energy from one location to another without having to traverse the space between. It also implies that the object no longer exists at the original location. Faxing, printing, and related technologies still require that either matter or energy traverse the space between the two locations and are merely making copies. The original object wasn't transferred, as it still exists in its original location.
  9. Jan 22, 2016 #8
    Seems to me like a matter of semantics.
    Neither the matter, nor the energy of an object needs to traverse the intervening space, only the information needed to reconstruct it. Matter and energy already present at the destination would be used for the reproduction. It seems to me like for all practical purposes, remote copying achieves the same result as teleportation. If having the original object in the original location is a problem, simply destroy it. Perhaps recycle the material for incoming teleportations.
  10. Jan 22, 2016 #9


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    No, I disagree with that and agree with Drakkith

    your system isn't teleporting anything ... its just making a copy/clone at a remote location and that's a huge difference to actually moving an object/person from one location to another as described by the majority of teleportation systems in scifi

  11. Jan 22, 2016 #10
    Teleportation and time travel in the Doctor Who sense are violations of well established physical theories.
    Unless those theories can be proven wrong then trying to build such a machine is a total wasted effort.
    Long distance space travel is not only possible, it's been done already as far as the solar system goes with robots, but including humans and expecting them to arrive somewhere habitable within their lifetime is in another ball game altogether.
    VR is making steady but slow progress and has useful applications such as in pilot training simulators, but we are nowhere yet near an 'immersive' VR experience that the user can't distinguish from real life.
    Outside of entertainment I'm not sure what would be the point of it anyway.
  12. Jan 22, 2016 #11


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    As teleportation is purely fictional, at the moment, there is little point in describing what 'goes on' during the process. Constructing a copy of an object need involve nothing more than Communication and that's been going on since the year dot, to some extent. It's not teleportation, however accurate the copy may be. In the limit, it would involve cloning of an individual but (and this is a philosophical point) the two individuals (original and copy) would instantly be different. Where would or could the continuity of experience lie? With both of them? Which one would be 'me'? Both me and my doppleganger, I suppose. But this ain't PF business, I fear.
  13. Mar 25, 2016 #12
    Re. teleportation:

    OP no doubt has seen aticles about Quantum Teleportation (QT), which is about 13.8 billion light-years away from Dr. Who or Star Trek capability. When the media talks about QT they deliberately blur the distinction between it and Star Trek, breeding confusion.

    [Mentor's note: This post has been edited to remove a response to other deleted posts in the thread]
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2016
  14. Mar 25, 2016 #13
    There's actually much more needy issues in the world as of right now. "Real" life as you'd say it, and as of right now the world needs to focus on these "small" issues before we make any great breakthroughs. Money is pooled into different regions in order to advance our economy, but I find that the lack of "sci-fi" breakthroughs is mainly due to uninterested peoples. Looking at my community, there are very, very few people who are interested in physics and its branches. That may be a problem. Not enough students go into the physics field and that may be mainly due to ignorance. There are tons of people who aren't aware of what physics actually is, and those who aren't exposed at an early age may never understand what it really is.

    Personally, I believe that if more people were exposed to physics and its great theories and possibilities (such as sci-fi related discoveries), more people would flock to understand and research in the field. Plus, it's very difficult to discover time travel, space travel, etc. It may be decades, or even centuries before we make these major breakthroughs in science due to our technology. We may as well need much more advance technology in order to discover the things of sci-fi.

    However, it'd be great if one day, in the near future, we, as mankind, attain this type of technology.
  15. Mar 25, 2016 #14


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    OK, this thread has reached the point of diminishing returns... Time to close.

    As always, if you have something substantive to add that hasn't already been said in the thread, PM a mentor to ask that the thread be reopened.
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