In March 1993 Charles H. Bennett from IBM proposed a scheme, based on Quantum Mechanics, that in principle could be used to teleport an object. The scheme was experimentally verified by Dik Bouwmeester et al. in the Fall of 1997. In 2004 researchers at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Science used an 800m-long optical fibre fed through a public sewer system tunnel to connect labs on opposite sides of the River Danube to achieve such teleportation.

In Star Trek, when Captain Kirk is beamed from the starship Enterprise to the surface of a planet, Captain Kirk de-materialises on the Enterprise, and then re-materialises on the planet. On the TV show, an unanswered question is whether the transporter physically disassembles Captain Kirk, moves the atoms from his body to the planet, and then reassembles them. Another perhaps more reasonable alternative would be to scan all the information about Captain Kirk's physical state, and transmit that information to the planet surface where it is used to construct a new Captain Kirk out of raw materials found on the planet. Note that in either case the transporter needs to have complete information on Kirk's physical state in order to reconstruct him

Quantum teleportation involves the transmission not of actual matter, but rather of information. The atom itself is not teleported, but rather the delicate quantum information contained in the atom, and in particular their spin. How is this "quantum teleportation" actually achieved?Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.Creating entanglement is a very important step but there are two more steps at least to perform teleportation.

Basically it involves two separate particles behaving as if they were essentially one and the same, even though they are separated by a great distance. Changes to one particle will be mirrored in the other. Using this phenomenon physicists have been able to transfer -- or in effect teleport -- the properties of one particle to another, in the case of atoms over a distance of about half a meter, in the case of photons over tens of kilometers. It is really about teleporting information from one site to another site. Quantum information is different from classical information in the sense that it cannot be measured. It has much higher information capacity and it cannot be eavesdropped on. The transmission of quantum information can be made unconditionally secure," said Polzik whose research is reported in the journal Nature


Breakthrough brings 'Star Trek' teleport a step closer
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 04 June 2007

Scientists have set a new record in sending information through thin air using the revolutionary technology of quantum teleportation - although Mr Spock may have to wait a little longer for a Scotty to beam him up with it.

A team of physicists has teleported data over a distance of 89 miles from the Canary Island of La Palma to the neighbouring island of Tenerife, which is 10 times further than the previous attempt at teleportation through free space.

The scientists did it by exploiting the "spooky" and virtually unfathomable field of quantum entanglement - when the state of matter rather than matter itself is sent from one place to another. Tiny packets or particles of light, photons, were used to teleport information between telescopes on the two islands. The photons did it by quantum entanglement and scientists hope it will form the basis of a way of sending encrypted data.

The teleporters used in Star Trek are said to have been based on the idea of quantum entanglement and the latest study demonstrates that elements of the phenomenon could have a practical use in the real world.

However, quantum entanglement has so far been carried out only on the simplest forms of matter and scientists believe that a fundamentally new approach will be needed if it can ever be used for teleporting people or even non-living objects.

Robert Ursin of the University of Vienna said the latest experiment in quantum entanglement shows its potential as a means of communicating sensitive information via satellites using quantum cryptography, that could effectively deploy an uncrackable security code.

"We really wanted to show that this can be done in the real world and our dream is to go into space and try it there. This was a feasibility study funded by the European Space Agency," Dr Ursin said yesterday. "In principle, such experiments may in future be used for teleporting information between places, but our system is not capable of transporting matter," he said.

"We think Star Trek is really very good science fiction but I'm afraid teleporting people is not possible with current technology. But we could use some scheme to teleport information."

Albert Einstein described quantum entanglement as "spooky action at a distance" and it relies on the fact that two photons can be created in such a way that they behave as a single object, even if they are separated by large distances. In behaving in this way they are acting as a teleportation machine because any changes to one causes similar changes to the other. The way this is done is via a third photon, which is teleported from the photon in the transmitting station to the photon in the receiver.

In the process, the third photon becomes entangled with the transmitting photon and so carries its quantum information to the receiving photon, which interacts with the third photon in such a way that it becomes identical to it - hence the information is successfully transmitted.

The study is published in the journal Nature Physics.

Biological quantum teleportation 
N.E. Mavromatos, A. Mershin, D.V. Nanopoulos
arXiv preprint server

Some researchers have suggested that quantum processes in the brain may account for consciousness and other phenomena but no clear
suggestions of how those processes might work has been accepted. A speculative proposal suggests that biological microtubules may act as
quantum electrodynamic cavities and have the potential for quantum entanglement, teleportation and computation. The authors suggest that this
mechanism may be responsible for how the brain works or might at least provide biological building blocks for creating quantum computers. 
 High Energy Physics - Phenomenology

Title: Hidden Laser Communications Through Matter -An application of meV-scale hidden photons-

Abstract: Currently, there are a number of light-shining-through-walls experiments searching for hidden photons -- light, sub-eV-scale, abelian gauge bosons beyond the standard model which mix kinetically with the standard photon. We show that in the case that one of these experiments finds evidence for hidden photons, laser communications through matter, using methods from free-space optics, can be realized in the very near future, with a channel capacity of more than 1 bit per second, for a distance up to the Earth's diamater.
Subjects: High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)
Report number: DESY 09-037; IPPP/09/22; DCPT/09/44
Cite as:

'Hidden photons' to send secret emails through Earth

IF YOU shine a laser on the floor, where does the light go? With the right preparation, some of it might pop out at the other side of the world - an effect that could be exploited to transmit secret messages through the ground.

That is the conclusion of Andreas Ringwald at the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, and colleagues, who have explored the possibility of hypothetical particles called "hidden photons" ( "If such particles exist, then we can use them to communicate," says Ringwald. "It's very simple."

Hidden photons are a class of particles predicted by so-called supersymmetric extensions to the standard model of particle physics. Unlike normal photons, hidden photons could have a tiny mass and would be invisible because they would not interact with the charged particles in conventional matter. This means hidden photons would flit through even the densest materials unaffected.

The only place to spot them is in a vacuum, where they should sometimes "oscillate" into normal photons. There are already experiments searching for this effect: the idea is to shine a laser at a wall in a vacuum and see if any of the photons make it through to the other side by transforming into their hidden counterparts and back again. According to Ringwald's group, if these experiments succeed it should be possible to scale up the apparatus so that the hidden photons become signal carriers and the "wall" becomes any stretch of ground or water.