Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne SLAC Energy into Matter
Name: Julian S.
Status: student
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 5/5/2004


Question:
In 1998 researchers at Stanford University's Linear Accelerator Center successfully converted energy into matter. This feat was accomplished by using lasers and incredibly strong electromagnetic fields to change ordinary light into matter. The results of this experiment may allow for the development of variety of technological gadgets. One such development could be matter/energy transporters or food replicators that are commonly seen in some of our favorite science fiction programs.

For more information, check out the following site:

http://www.geog.ouc.bc.ca/conted/on...10/210_2_2.html

I'm an aspiring science fiction writer and what I want to do in my story is achieve teleportation by actually teleporting the people themselves, not their properties like in quantum teleportation. So, I began thinking about how I was going to do that. I thought about creating a teleporter that works by converting matter into energy and reconverting the energy back into matter and being able to pass through walls and ceilings, sort of like radio signals.

1) Is matter and energy conversion a good candidate for true teleportation?

2) Does conversion of matter into energy and vice-versa in this case imply the destruction of the person undergoing the process, only to be replaced by a replica who was literally born into existence once the energy was reconverted back into matter?


Replies:
I suppose that speculating on currently-unimaginable and likely-never-achievable technology is way far ahead of "science".

But I have a small mental outline about ideas of teleportation:

A) Do you have "magic" which removes an object from one place an puts it another?

B) Do you have a warped-space shortcut from here to there?

- can bio-organisms survive this warped path?

- what magnitude of energies are involved in making/having the space-warp?

C) Does it use disassembly-reassembly?

- all aspects of all particles in a being, comprise an unreasonably huge amount of

information:

What is the size of this information-set? Is it theoretically provably impossible to transmit it? How can you begin to handle the enormous amount of information implied by the individual? How will you transmit said large quantity to far end without significant errors? How can disassembly/reassembly be fast/accurate enough? fast is usually violent, sloppy. Maybe it should be slow? Is reassembly exactly accurate, or some shorthand approximation (likely)? How shorthand? Is it possible to store a copy?

- does disassembly destroy the original? (...)

- do you use matter-energy conversions?

how do you contain, control those billion-electron-volt particles and reactions? (No way imaginable yet. Probability/entropy rules, even in your news reference.) how do you further improve control by about 10 orders of magnitude so stray radiation isn't messing-up/killing your biological subject? how do you imagine providing/absorbing the multi-gigagton energies equivalent to 100kg of mass?

The StarGate on the TV show supposedly uses both B and C, if you watch closely and think. Not sure if that makes it more plausible or merely muddy-headed.

Recently I read a sci-fi short story about a planet covered by network of bio-computer modules, wherein people lived only as personality simulations running in the global computer. Since everybody was already pared down to the minimum content necessary to simulate senses, thoughts, feelings, and memories, (somewhat distasteful, and philosophically risking the deeper "self"), then it was quite plausible to transmit a reasonable-sized data-packet by laser burst to another planet, without significant problems. Let us all become computer-simulations so we can do teleportation! (uh, sure...) Regret that I have forgotten the author and title.

Jim Swenson



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory