Teleportation – Idea Journal – Oct 28, 2010

I felt the need to write this Idea Journal about teleportation.

At first I thought about drumming up some type of high quality, double-walled carbon nanotube in order to expedite my travels, a metrotube of sorts. I had it figured out, right down to the sound effects it would make. A cross between a bubble popping and a subway. With a hiss.

The idea became redundant when I started budgeting for the world’s ‘next best thing’. If we can’t even pay our ‘waste management engineers’ enough for them to not go on strike, how would society even contemplate a system of high tech metrotubes. The argument would be that the subway is efficient enough, although it doesn’t span far enough into suburbia. My point exactly! Back to the drawing board.

Telecommunication and transportation have evolved substantially in the last century. If the two merged… into a teleporation type scenario… but how? We would have to dismantle all protons, transport every single one of them to the same destination and then reassemble them perfectly. The details of the atomic configuration of anything being sent would have to be so precise, the slightest change and you’d have mutation.

There was a team of researchers that worked for IBM that concluded in the early 90’s that teleporation was indeed possible. It was just a pipe dream incited by old Star Trek up until then, apparently. The catch was that whatever was teleported had to be destroyed before it worked.

This presents a sincere problem for me. I travel a lot. This past year alone has spanned me across North America. As much as I love the drive to NYC on a crisp autumn morning, so help me, I’d rather save myself the 9 hour drive and just ‘beam’ myself there. Friends too. I have friends and family in far away places. I’d love to teleport my kids to their grandparent’s place on weekends sometimes. If someone is having a sad day, I don’t even have to leave my keys in the mailbox, they can beam themselves into our home, safe and sound. It’d certainly make romance easier…

Without the catch of destruction in the end… Sheesh!

Plus, I really doubt the law of physics will ever allow humans to be teleported. I read once that we had over a trillion trillion atoms in our bodies. I can’t fathom that number, I just know it’s big. The precision, it’s impossible. Molecules wouldn’t even be able to be a hair out of place.

I guess it’s safe to say that we’ll be sticking to instant messenger, text messaging, video calling, webcams, Skype and the likes, and any other plausible method to make geography seem less daunting. It’s a fabulous concept, it’s a wonderful dream, but for now, humans have to stay grounded and leave no atom askew.

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