What If Teleportation was Real?

What If?

The average American spends about 50 minutes a day, commuting to and from work. Over a year’s time, that’s more than 8 days spent away from loved ones and being productive. So we wondered, what if we could teleport?

Teleporting, for the scientific set, is the theory of instantly transporting matter across distance and space. For the rest of us, it means no more lines of traffic, long trips to grandma’s house and a chance to see the world.

Between science and science fiction, one of the most popular theories for teleporting, like we’ve seen in Star Trek, means scanning and copying the original matter, and creating a duplicate, somewhere else. But the problem with this human copy machine is that the process of duplicating the original, actually destroys it.

“You think about what the process entails, at least in sci-fi form, it means pulling apart every atom in your body and putting it together somewhere else,” said Ben Buchler, Associate Professor of Physics at The Australian National University. “I can’t think of a physiological way of making that pain-free, even if it were physically possible.”

So the process might be a little painful. But as proven in 2012, it is not impossible. At least on the molecular level. Scientists fired up a laser and moved one photon, between the Canary Islands. Granted, humans are little more complex than the fundamental particle of light, but still, that’s an 89 mile transport.

If we could teleport, don’t sell your car or tear up that bus pass just yet, teleportation may be a luxury only enjoyed by the 1 percent. So if you can afford that hefty price tag, we may visit places we never even considered vacation hot spots, but there’s a good chance you could be waiting on line for a while.

“We are not limited to the places we can go to, but more specifically, the capacity of the places that we can go to are limited,” said Steven Gould, author of the best-selling book, Jumper. “What happens when you read about the famous restaurant. You read the good restaurant review about this place often, like a barbeque place in North Carolina or something and it’s this fabulous review and suddenly 4,000 people try it for lunch that day.”

That’s if we could even find this famous restaurant in North Carolina, among the towers of hard drives that would be cluttering the landscape. In order for us to teleport, we need serious amounts of data storage to copy our every ounce of being.

“If you think about the amount of data needed to store just to write the down the of every particle of a human, you're making a stack of hard drives which reaches four-times past the nearest star to earth,” said Buchler.

Rather than being the centers of civilization, our cities may turn into towering collections of hard drives. And our new way of transport could complicate our lives, including relationships.

“Cheating, this could be difficult. On one hand, you'd never come home to see your significant other in bed with someone else,” said Natasha Burton, author of 101 Quizzes for Couples. “But at the same time, it would make it easier for ‘players’ to date multiple women in different countries, instead of different zip codes.”

Also complicating matters is the possibility of having unexpected guests from anywhere in the world simply drop by.

“Someone would need to develop a teleportation blocker, to stop people you don’t want from popping in,” said Burton.

Host: Dan Kloeffler
Producer, DP: David Fazekas,
Associate Producer: Stefan Doyno
Editor: Maurice Abbate