Why Can’t I Just Teleport Already?
by A Real Person on June 30, 2010
Good God, do I hate airports. It should, by all means, not be a problem going through security and getting on an airplane. And it wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for all those people. It should be simple: take off your shoes, put your bag on the belt, make sure you don’t have any metal on you. Many have a tough time grasping the concept of that last one. You know those keys you have in your pocket? Yeah, those are metal.
Fortunately, I have a solution. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been invented yet.
Let’s talk about teleportation.
I realize that I have an unlikely (if not impossible) dream of being able to instantaneously zap myself to the other side of the world, but ever since I saw my first episode of Star Trek as a kid, I’ve been obsessed. What scientists have achieved thus far is a transference of information between two separate atoms: using a high-frequency laser pulse, scientists triggered atoms to emit photons in just the right way to put the atoms into a quantum state, called “entanglement”. Once in this state, the information held in the first atom disappeared and was transferred to the other atom, even though they were in separate, vacuum-sealed chambers. [via Time.com]
So all the single atoms (now put your hands up) are having a great time teleporting, but we humans are much further away from instantaneous travel. Considering we have about 10^28 atoms in our bodies (that’s a trillion trillion), managing to copy all of that information and transfer it to an equal number of atoms in a different location seems like an impossible task. First of all, if one single atom was out of place in the brain, it could mean devastating brain damage. Second, even if this transfer of data was successful, it would be like cloning more than teleporting…and the original copy would be destroyed. You know, like The Sixth Day, except for real. And I’m sure we could use Ahnold as a guinea pig. [via HowStuffWorks.com]
For those who don’t want to hear me whine about personal trivialities, skip the next paragraph and go to the one after, which has some fun stuff about superpowers.
I’m writing right now at gate 67A in LAX, a place I’ve visited twice in the past three days. Due to a mix of family events and work pulling me toward two different cities, I’ve found myself flying across the country about once every 24 hours. My itinerary: Friday night, Los Angeles→Detroit. Sunday morning, Detroit→Los Angeles. Monday night, Los Angeles→Detroit. Here’s what that would look like on a flight map:
Now, wouldn’t that be easier if it was just *BAMF* instead of three flights in four days?
This is why when people ask me, “what superpower would you choose?”, I always say teleportation. Wanna be a hero? Just Hiro Nakamura somebody’s ass into a buried coffin, or bamf all around the room and kick the crap out of your confused opponents. Wanna be a villain? It’s as simple as teleporting into and out of a bank safe. Wanna just be a regular dude? You can travel anywhere you want for free. And you’d make one hell of a pizza delivery guy.