One of our favorite subjects here is the strange and weird, the stuff that was yesterday's comic book fantasy and yesterday's science fiction, and that arew quickly becoming today's science fact, and tomorrow's commonplaces. Things like the quest for optical invisibility - by any number of techniques - or Star Trek-like "transporters" and "replicators" that beam people, atom-by-atom, from one point to a very distant point at the speed of light, and then "reassemble" them. Or things like teleportation. Of course, if one wants a Star Trek like transporter, one will have to improve the distance over which one can do such things, and, ultimately, try it out on organic life.
Enter quantum teleportation, superposition, and ...well, see for yourself in these two articles shared by Mr. J,H, and Ms. M.W.:
NIST Team Breaks Distance Record for Quantum Teleportation
This first experiment speaks for itself:
BOULDER, Colo.—Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have “teleported” or transferred quantum information carried in light particles over 100 kilometers (km) of optical fiber, four times farther than the previous record.
The experiment confirmed that quantum communication is feasible over long distances in fiber. Other research groups have teleported quantum information over longer distances in free space, but the ability to do so over conventional fiber-optic lines offers more flexibility for network design.
Nott to be confused with Star Trek’s fictional “beaming up” of people, quantum teleportation involves the transfer, or remote reconstruction, of information encoded in quantum states of matter or light. Teleportation is useful in both quantum communications and quantum computing, which offer prospects for novel capabilities such as unbreakable encryption and advanced code-breaking, respectively. The basic method for quantum teleportation was first proposed more than 20 years ago and has been performed by a number of research groups, including one at NIST using atoms in 2004.
The new record, described in Optica,* involved the transfer of quantum information contained in one photon—its specific time slot in a sequence—to another photon transmitted over 102 km of spooled fiber in a NIST laboratory in Colorado.
What's interesting here is the clear implication of this experiment: what has been advanced is not to much the teleportation ability itself, but rather, the detector capability. Ponder it for a moment: a detector has been invented which can pick out one photon amid all the "quantum noise" created by information transfer over fiber optic cables sixty miles in length. A few years ago, when I first started blogging about the leaps and bounds that teleportation experiments were achieving, and then pointed out the principal difficulty of any Star Trek like transporter-reassembler: it would be required to detect massive amounts of data signal among even much more massive amounts of "noise", and then reassemble the trillions of data signals accurately. This, of course, would require an extremely accurate "detector" (not to mention, massive computational capability). What I'm suggesting here is that the NIST experiment is another step in that technology tree, A long way off, to be sure, from Gene Roddenberry's imagination, but a much larger step from where we were just a few months ago.
Which brings us to the "can organic life go through this process, and emerge unharmed" while it is, so to speak, in two places at once? Or, to put it differently, does quantum entanglement work for life (and, while you're pondering this idea and experiment, get out your Wheeler and Everett thinking caps, and ponder their "multiverse" interpretation of quantum mechanics too):
This experiment is simplicity itself:
Note that this experiment does "double duty", not only testing the viability of quantum superposition on organic life, but also plans on developing detection capabilities of a medical nature based upon the spin characteristics of single electrons, or, to put it "country simple," we've come a long way since Millikan, Stern, and Gerlach. The ability to correlate such characteristics with, say, states of cellular health or potential disease have obvious medical and diagnostic implications, and implications, as well, for electromagnetic methods of healing and therapy, and this time, it will be very difficult for Big Pharma to suppress such ideas and techniques, as they successfully did with Royal Rife in this country, and Priore in France. Indeed, it is even possible that in the process of superposition of microbes, side effects will inevitably be noticed that affect the organism's state of health.The researchers plan to build on the work of others at the University of Colorado who showed in 2013 that a tiny, vibrating aluminium membrane could be placed in a superposition of states.
“We propose to simply put a small microbe on top of the aluminum membrane. The microbe will also be in a superposition state when the aluminum membrane is in a superposition state. The principle is quite simple,” Dr Li said.
The researchers plan to go one step further in a second experiment that would entangle the position of the microbe with the spin of an electron inside it. “The purpose of the second experiment is to make the system useful. It can be used to detect defects of DNA and proteins in a microbe, and image the microbe with single electron spin sensitivity,” Dr Li said.
Li said he hoped to conduct the experiment, but that leading scientists in the field had laboratories better equipped to take the project on, and that he hoped to collaborate with them. “If the top group in quantum electromechanics want to focus on doing this experiment, I think a microbe could be put into a superposition state in three years,” he said. (Emphasis added)