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Teleportation Instead of Transportation

The following idea won’t become a reality on next day, next year, or next century, But…. one day in the future.

Transportation, is a house-hold term that we all are aware of. But what is teleportation? It is the theoretical transfer of matter from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them. Without the technical jargons, it means sending an object from A to B simply by making it disappear at A and making it reappear at B, using quantum mechanics applications.

I’m sure you may wonder what is really meant by disappearing an object. To explain this weirdness of “disappearing” something, first you need to know about some advanced physics theories. The atom is the smallest particle that can be found in all of the elements that exist in the world, even in the air you breathe, inside you and me. And within those atoms, sub-atomic particles like electrons and protons are present as well. These elementary particles, although mentioned as particles, they behave as waves also. The name given for this concept is “wave-particle duality”.  Hence they may act as particles at one instant, but change to waves at the next instant. Therefore a specific particle may stay at one place at this moment and in the next second it may be in another place, not by moving to the next place, but by disappearing from the previous place and reappearing at the other place, due to wave-particle duality. This may startle you, if you are reading about this alien behaviour of particle for the first time. But this what really happens in the world, at least according to theoretical physicists.

If you didn’t understand my explanation on the theory behind teleportation, that’s okay. Even I don’t really understand the complete theoretical basis behind teleportation. And you don’t need to understand it to get the essence of this article. Just keep in mind location of very small particles can be unpredictable, hence those can be anywhere at a given time.

Although this behaviour seems interesting, this cannot mould in to beneficial way for us in current state. However, if we can understand and control this particle behaviour and apply the same theory to much larger objects with the technology advancements, we will be fortunate enough to teleport almost all the matter.

In practical world only data on electron has been teleported, (source) yet. But we can be hopeful of experiencing teleportation of large objects in our life time. Then, transportation will be taken over by teleportation for the simple reason, that instead of taking a thing from A to B, teleporting from A to B may work, where this “thing” can be an object or a human as well.

But, finally, I would like to tell you, not to get too excited, because all these applications are still in theoretical stage, unsure of whether those can be applied in practical world. But I repeat, that one day, this concept may be used and eliminate the hindering non-value adding ‘transportation’ from the world.

- Kethaka Galappaththi-
Department of Transport and Logistics Management
Faculty of Engineering

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