The expression "teleportation" has first appeared in 1931 as a combination of "tele-" and "transportation". Its original meaning was limited to "the act or process of moving an object or person by psychokinesis".  The term used by psi researchers is "apport" from the Latin apportare (to carry to a place).

First proposed in 1993 by Charles Bennett of IBM, quantum teleportation allows physicists to take a photon (or any other quantum-scale particle, such as an atom), and transfer its properties (such as its polarization) to another photon -- even if the two photons are on opposite sides of the galaxy. This scheme transports the particle's properties to the remote location and not the particle itself. And as with Star Trek's Captain Kirk, whose body is destroyed at the teleporter and reconstructed at his destination, the state of the original photon must be destroyed to create an exact reconstruction at the other end. While physicists don't foresee the possibility of teleporting large-scale objects like humans, this scheme will have uses in quantum computing and cryptography.

Stripped to its basics, a teleporter would work something like this: An object is scanned atom by atom. process breaks up the atom to create entangled pairs of particles. The entangled pairs are stretched so that the superposition extends between the transmitting and receiving points. At the receiving end, the information contained in the "superposition" of entangled particles is used to duplicate the original quantum conditions -- in atoms drawn from the immediate surroundings. You disintegrate at one end and pop out at your destination, literally a new person


According to a 1997 report, quantum teleportation has been experimentally demonstrated by Anton Zeilinger and Dik Bouwmeester, physicists at the University of Innsbruck. In the Innsbruck experiment, the researchers create a pair of photons A and B that are quantum mechanically "entangled": the polarization of each photon is in a fuzzy, undetermined state, yet the two photons have a precisely defined interrelationship. If one photon is later measured to have, say, a horizontal polarization, then the other photon must "collapse" into the complementary state of vertical polarization. In the experiment, one of the entangled photons A arrives at an optical device at the exact time as a "message" photon M whose polarization state is to be teleported. These two photons enter a device where they become indistinguishable, thus effacing our knowledge of M's polarization. What the researchers have verified is that by ensuring that M's polarization is complementary to A's, then B's polarization would now have to assume the same value as M's. In other words, although M and B have never been in contact, B has been imprinted with M's polarization value, across the whole galaxy, instantaneously. This does not mean that faster-than-light information transfer has occurred. The people at the sending station must still convey the fact that teleportation had been successful by making a phone call or using some other light-speed or sub-light-speed means of communication.


Teleportation is the popular term for the instantaneous transfer of an object from one place to another, without being moved along in between.

Facilitated by:
Researching transport
Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies