Coming soon! Well maybe not that soon, but I’ll settle for just “coming”! Report from NPR:
“Quantum entanglement” may sound like an awful sci-fi romance flick, but it’s actually a phenomenon that physicists say may someday lead to the ability to teleport an object all the way across the galaxy instantly.
It’s not exactly the Star Trek version of teleportation, where an object disappears then reappears somewhere else. Rather, it “entangles” two different atoms so that one atom inherits the properties of another.
“According to the quantum theory, everything vibrates,” theoretical physicist Michio Kaku tells NPR’s Guy Raz. Kaku is a frequent guest on the Science and Discovery channels. “When two electrons are placed close together, they vibrate in unison. When you separate them, that’s when all the fireworks start.”
This is where quantum entanglement — sometimes described as “teleportation” — begins. “An invisible umbilical cord emerges connecting these two electrons. And you can separate them by as much as a galaxy if you want. Then, if you vibrate one of them, somehow on the other end of the galaxy the other electron knows that its partner is being jiggled.”
This process happens even faster than the speed of light, physicists say.
Quantum entanglement isn’t a new idea — Einstein once famously referred to it as “spooky action at a distance” — but it wasn’t until the past 30 years that scientists were first able to observe this process.
It could one day lead to new types of computers, and some even think entanglement may explain things like telepathy. Scientists aren’t quite ready to beam up Scotty yet, but this is the technology that one day may lead to such a feat…
[continues at NPR]