Monday, June 7, 2010
Scientists in China have managed to teleport information sixteen kilometers using photon entanglement. The scientists entangled two photons of light, then sent one about ten miles from Beijing. When they altered the state of the proton in Beijing, the proton ten miles away changed state in the exact same way at the same time. According to the article, it's one thing to mess about with protons, and quite another to assume that we'll shortly be putting the airlines out of business by teleporting to our vacations in Fiji. (How I wish that weren't the case...flying is not my favorite mode of transportation.) The experiment may yet lead to new computing and communications techniques allowing for faster, more secure transmission of data. Put computer modules inside a cyborg that calculate using entangled protons and you can effectively deprogram that cyborg by removing him or her from the planet - you'd unentangle the protons over distance. Presumably, as technology and knowledge advances, the distances over which protons remain entangled will increase, but still. Would it hurt in some vaguely physical way to have embedded processing modules essentially die inside your head? How easy (or difficult) would it be for someone to modify the protons of your onboard computer - re-entangle them to protons - and therefore programming - they control?