How Teleportation Will Work

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Author's Note: How Teleportation Will Work

Teleportation is one of those "Frankenstein" technologies that terrify us even as they inspire us. Surely, the power to travel instantaneously from New York to Bangkok or from Earth to Alpha Centauri is certainly a power worth grasping after. It could ultimately guarantee the survival of the human race and its peripheral technologies could change fundamentally what it is to be human.

After all, if a machine can digitize everything that's you and rebuild it on the other side of the planet, then why bother with a perfect copy? How about an enhanced copy that's younger, smarter, stronger and happier? Why should you ever worry with getting old when you can simply pass through the teleporter and emerge renewed?

Bio-digital teleportation tempts and haunts us. It's why so many of our sci-fi visions of it involve inherent tragedy and dehumanizing horror. Because if we ever achieve it, we'll have mastered life, death, matter, space and time. Surely, some barrier should stand between humanity and such godhood, right? –- Robert Lamb

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Emerging Technology From the arXiv. “Quantum Internet: First Teleportation to a Solid-state Quantum Memory.” Feb. 3, 2014. (March 4, 2014)
  • "First quantum teleportation between light and matter." Phys.Org. Oct. 5, 2006. (March 5, 2014)
  • IBM Research. "Quantum Teleportation." IBM. 1995. (Oct. 30, 2012)
  • Scientists teleport light to matter for 1st time." CBC News. Oct. 5, 2006. (March 5, 2014)
  • Slezak, Michael. "Teleportation record heralds secure global network." New Scientist. May 15, 2012. (March 3, 2014)

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