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Beam Me Up, Scotty: Scientists Theorize Star Trek-Like Teleportation

Teleportation, a term that describes the instant transport of across space and distance, or, more narrowly, the transport of quantum information at the speed of light, has been known in theory at least since 1993 and is known today to exist as a feature in our universe. It can even be replicated as Chinese researchers claimed to have teleported photons over a distance of 88 miles last year, but our technology is limited to teleporting information to single atoms and anything more complex is still science fiction.

However, new project work, albeit completely theoretical in nature, describes a generalized form of teleportation in quantum physics, which foresees gateways of teleportation that support more than just one atom. The basic understanding of teleportation considers an entangled pair of quantum particles that always retain synchronized information, no matter how great the physical distance between them.

"Previous teleportation protocols, have fallen into one of two camps, those that could only send scrambled information requiring correction by the receiver, or more recently, port-based teleportation that doesn't require a correction, but needed an impractical amount of entanglement – each object sent would destroy the entangled state," the researchers said. In their theory, however, the entangled state can be recycled in a way so that the gateway between particles supports the teleportation of multiple objects. Their protocol suggests that quantum particles can be teleported simultaneously, but the entangled state degrades proportionally to the amount of quantum particles sent.

Sergii Strelchuk from the University of Cambridge said that "entanglement can be thought of as the fuel, which powers teleportation." Their new protocol is considered to be "more fuel efficient" and "able to use entanglement thriftily while eliminating the need for error correction".

Space travel in an instant is still a dream far away. But it surely is fascinating to learn about research that may enable teleportation in the future.

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