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Post Has Teleportation Arrived? From Gary Moore
Created by John Eipper on 02/13/18 4:22 AM

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Has Teleportation Arrived? From Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 02/13/18 4:22 am)

Gary Moore writes:

Spukhafte! This scoffing word from Einstein invites a radically new WAIS direction. There is urgent present-day news that reads like one more the-future-is-now "impossibility" from the Jetsons (and it's way beyond picture-phones).

Consider the following science fiction headline, feeding off Einstein's word: “Scientists Just Teleported an Object Into Space for the First Time."

This kind of dreamy nonsense was what gave Buck Rogers a bad name, right? Wrong. The above (as only a start on the impossibilities) is a real headline, repeated throughout the media on July 12, 2017. The preliminary had been building for years in the US and Canada, but the prize for finally doing it goes to the Chinese. The gassy old fantasy term "teleportation"--"Beam me up, Albert"--just got serious. At first glance the "objects" they're teleporting might not look so impressive--not a whole Captain Kirk, or even a modest teaspoon--but instead, they're teleporting indescribably tiny photons. But the impressiveness grows.

Einstein's scoffing description, dismissing as impossible what's happening now, said in its fuller version:  "spukhafte fernwirkung." It's always needed a more elegant English translation than what's usually given, though the most common one makes the point: “spooky action at a distance."

Einstein was referring to the no-man's land in quantum physics formed by "entangled photons." Slow advances in the past 30 years have shown his skepticism was misplaced--for now not only have they proved it's possible, but they're doing it. The implications are so profoundly upsetting to the whole way we view experience that it's hard to know where to begin.

In short, things far apart--across town or as far away as a satellite--can effect each other instantaneously, with no distance at all seeming to exist between them. Physicists say straight out that they don't know how this happens, and that there are x-factors in experience we can't seem to grasp.

The reason I began to research this subject is strange enough, a personal experience when I was recently flown by a documentary film crew to a very conflictive area of Mexico. The anomalous experience we had there--at a very anomalous and massacre-burdened place, would ordinarily have been one of those little quirks or "winks-of-God" that we may all dismiss from time to time as only a trick of perception. But now science itself is proving that "impossible" connections do exist. Now the whole ballgame of using common-sense tests for what is or is not a trick of perception descends into uncertainty.

I wish I could express all this better. It's one more island in the great sea of the unknown for which we have a very scant vocabulary.

JE comments:  Deep, spuky concepts for this Tuesday the 13th (in Mexico and elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world, expect bad luck on martes 13).  I've never been a technical visionary, but I always saw the "Internets" as a form of teleportation.  Think of WAIS emerging from the ether and re-creating itself at your desk or phone.

Gary Moore speaks of weightier (if nearly weightless) stuff:  entangled, interconnected photons cooperating across seemingly infinite distances.  How can this be?  And when we start teleporting humans, won't the result be a copy, not the beamed original?

The airlines will resist this.

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  • Has Teleportation Arrived? I Don't Think So (Istvan Simon, USA 02/16/18 4:03 AM)
    In response to Gary Moore (13 February), I am not aware of what the Chinese have done on teleportation, if anything.

    But as a scientist, I can assure Gary that what he is describing is impossible according to the currently accepted laws of physics. Nothing can affect a remote system instantaneously.

    I will accept that something worthwhile is going on when multiple reputable physicists say that Einstein's theory of relativity has been contradicted by the Chinese experiments. This is a big deal. So until that happens, I am extremely skeptical and won't lose any sleep over this.

    My bet would be 1000 to 1 that all of this amounts to absolutely nothing.

    JE comments:  Fission in a mayo jar, anyone?  Several mainstream sources did report on the Chinese experiment.  See this NPR piece from July 2017:


    (In my comments on Gary Moore's post, I wrote "proton" instead of "photon."  Tiny objects, big difference.  I've made the edit.  My thanks to Gary for catching the error.)

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    • Photon Teleportation and the Internet (Tor Guimaraes, USA 02/18/18 7:02 AM)
      Many researchers in Quantum Physics would contradict what Istvan Simon wrote on 16 February: "Nothing can affect a remote system instantaneously."

      We should remember that before Einstein was able to produce e=mc2, it took Faraday to show that there are many forms of energy transforming into and interacting with each other.  Faraday/Maxwell showed the nature of light, and it took Einstein many difficult years to show that the speed of light was an integral part of the equation.  Leibnitz and Emily de Chatelet showed that the speed had to be squared. This all occurred piece by piece, under political and religious conflict, over a very long time relative to the average length of human lives.

      Brian Greene is a reputable physicist and he put his finger on something immediately important: If the Chinese experiments with photon teleportation can produce a quantum communication technology (computers and Internet), the latest understanding of quantum physics says such a communication system would be impossible to hack. Needless to say, they could still hack our electronic systems, thus gaining a critical and overwhelming advantage.

      JE comments:  Tor, do you see this as a potential "quantum leap" of technological superiority for the Chinese?  (I say "this" because I'm not really sure what photon teleportation means.  Who can walk us through the concept on a layperson level?)

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      • China's Teleportation of Photons and Technological Superiority (Tor Guimaraes, USA 02/20/18 7:02 AM)
        Responding to John Eipper's question of February 18th, if the Chinese experiments with photon teleportation can eventually produce a quantum communication technology (computers and Internet), the latest understanding of quantum physics says such a communication system would be impossible to hack. This alone would be a major game changer, even without taking into consideration other yet unforeseen technologies which might follow.

        On the other hand, I did preface this huge potential advantage with the need for further validation (even though I trust Brian Greene's judgment that the Chinese breakthrough is for real). And even if it is for real, it will take much time and resources to finally produce operational quantum communication technology (computers and Internet). There will likely be plenty of obstacles (need for resources, political issues, etc.) in the way, just like it took to develop the atom bomb after Einstein produced e=mc2.

        Last, please understand we are not talking about teleportation of any matter (à la Star Trek) in this case, only photons which can carry information with zero delay.

        JE comments: A techie question: can there really be such a thing as a "hackproof" system?  We've heard such things before.  Consider, for starters, Enigma.

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        • Can There Be a "Hackproof" System? (John Heelan, UK 02/21/18 2:20 PM)
          JE asked on 20 February: "Can there really be such a thing as a 'hackproof' system? We've heard such things before. Consider, for starters, Enigma."

          Not until a copy of Enigma was captured from U-110 were Turing and Welchman able to create the "Bombe." (See http://ww2today.com/9th-may-1941-enigma-machine-captured--that includes a photo of an Enigma machine on U-124.)

          As to whether there is such a thing as a hack-proof system, my fifty years' experience in the computer business designing systems suggests that the answer is "no"--not just for technical reasons but because of the eternal availability of people willing to acquire and sell intelligence secrets of such devices. (I avoid online banking systems for that reason, given that the necessary passwords are too easy to reverse-engineer.)

          JE comments:  John Heelan has put his finger on it.  The weakest link is us.

          The link above is worth a click, if only to see the photo of the U-Boat communication center.  How claustrophobic.

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        • Chinese Teleportation, Quantum Entanglement...and a Wager (Istvan Simon, USA 02/22/18 5:23 PM)
          Tor Guimaraes offered the following on February 20th: "Many researchers in Quantum Physics would contradict what Istvan Simon wrote on 16 February: 'Nothing can affect a remote system instantaneously.'"

          I very much doubt it, but possibly Tor Guimaraes might introduce me to one of the "many such researchers" who could convince me that I am wrong.

          For now, let me state the following:

          1. My undergraduate degree is in Electrical Engineering, from the top Engineering School in Brazil, the Escola Politecnica of the University of São Paulo, (EPUSP). In my 5 years of study at EPUSP I had three years of physics, (in addition to 3 years of physics in high school). The third year of physics at EPUSP was on Quantum Mechanics. Quantum mechanics is the basis for understanding semi-conductors, which is fundamental in electrical engineering.

          2. Ordinarily Quantum Mechanics is physics that applies at tiny distances, which therefore have little to do with remote systems or action at large distances. The Theory of Relativity is the theory which applies at arbitrarily large distances, particularly if speeds approach a fraction of the speed of light. At more reasonable speeds, Newton's physics are sufficient.

          3. The Chinese experiments are about something called Quantum entanglement. This was something that Einstein came up with in 1935 in a "thought experiment," and it was a serious criticism of Quantum Mechanics. Einstein's criticism, which came to be known as "spooky action at a distance," is explained below:


          The name itself is a translation of a German term used by Schroedinger, one of the top founders of Quantum Mechanics in a letter to Einstein.

          4. Recently, there has been some work on entanglement at large distances to try to deal with Einstein's objections, for "tightly coupled" particles. How do you create "tightly coupled" particles at huge distances from each other I have only a vague idea about, but it is mentioned by Nobel Prize-winning experimental physicist Bill Phillips in the following discussion, which includes Alan Alda, Max Tegmark , Bill Phillips, David Albert, and Brian Greene (the latter mentioned by Tor Guimaraes in his post). This video is wonderful, and I recommend it to WAISers who have an hour and a half to listen through it:


          4a. Let me try to summarize what's going on in a few words. Quantum entanglement deals with creating two or more particles that are entangled in the following sense. Let's say the particles have spin, which can be either clockwise or counterclockwise. The point is it is very much like a bit in computer science.  It has two states, either it is 0 or it is 1. A quantum bit is something weird like Quantum Mechanics in general is.  It is counter-intuitive, and so a quantum bit is both 0 or 1, but when measured it is definitely either 0 or 1. The entanglement of two such particles means that if one is 0 then the other is 1, or vice-versa, if one is 1, then the other is 0. So create such an entanglement, when the state of the two particles are tied together in this way. Once so entangled, the particles can be transported at a large distance. The spooky action at a distance is then that if one is measured, forcing it to be 0 or 1, then instantaneously the other will be respectively 1 or 0. This is Einstein's spooky action at a distance.

          5. There is a branch of Theoretical Computer Science that deals with so-called Quantum Computing. I don't believe this has or will have any practical applications either. But If the conjectures made in this area were realized, the famous P=NP question would be solved. There is a million-dollar prize for whoever solves this fundamental question in Computer Science. My PhD thesis can be seen as work on the fringes of the P=NP question.

          6. Here is an example of this famous problem:

          6a. Think of a Graph as consisting of a bunch of Vertices and Edges. Represent each vertex by a point, and each edge by a line that joins two vertices. So a Triangle would be an example of a graph.

          6b. Graphs can represent many useful situations in real life. For example, consider 3 women and 3 men, say Ann, Beth and Christine and Adam, Bob, and Carl. Then we could represent who is sexually attracted to whom by a graph. For example if Ann and Adam are sexually attracted to each other, we would join the points representing Ann and Adam in the graph by an edge. Similarly, if Ann also was attracted to Carl and vice-versa, we would join the vertices representing Ann and Carl by another edge. Thus the graph so obtained represents sexual attraction between these people.

          6c. Assume that they are all heterosexual. In that case the graph is an example of a so-called Bi-Partite Graph. Color all the women red and all the men blue. Now each edge in our sexual attraction graph has a red vertex and a blue vertex. This is called a 2-colorable graph, that is we can color every sexual attraction graph between any group of heterosexual women and heterosexual men, and color all vertices with just two colors, red and blue, such that each edge has vertices of different colors. A graph is bi-partite if and only if it is 2-colorable.

          6d. Suppose I give you a very large graph, with 1000 vertices and 10,000 edges. Now I ask: Is this graph 2-colorable, i.e. is it bipartite? It turns out that there is a very efficient algorithm to answer this question for an arbitrary graph.

          6e. Clearly a triangle is not 2-colorable, so not all graphs are 2-colorable. Now suppose I give you a large graph like in 6d. which is not 2-colorable. I ask: "is this graph 3-colorable?" It would be 3-colorable if we could somehow color the vertices with 3 colors, say red, blue, and yellow, so that each edge would join different-colored vertices.

          6f. It turns out that the question I just asked, if a graph is 3-colorable or not is difficult to compute an answer to. That is we do not know of any efficient algorithm to compute the answer quickly for a large graph like what I just mentioned. This problem happens to be NP-complete, which has a somewhat complicated technical definition which I will not get into here, but which implies the following: If any NP-complete problem has an efficient algorithm that can solve it, then all NP-complete problems can be solved by an efficient algorithm, and that would mean that P=NP. On the other hand, if we somehow could prove that the 3-colorability problem has no efficient algorithm, then none of the NP-complete problems have an efficient algorithm, and P != NP. So figuring out whether 3-colorability can be solved efficiently or not is equivalent to solving a famous problem that has a million-dollar prize on it.

          7. I do not believe that Quantum Computing will ever have practical applications because of what I just explained in 6 - 6f. Clearly, I could be wrong, but for now it would seem to be a fairly safe bet that I am right.

          8. Similarly, for now, I am firmly in the corner of Einstein and do not believe that the experiments on remote tightly coupled particles will amount to something that has practical applications. It might be important to understand the world better, and perhaps will lead to the coveted "unification" of relativity and quantum mechanics.

          9. Before I stop, let me challenge Tor Guimaraes to put his money where his mouth is: I am willing to bet $1000 with him that my conclusion stated in 8 is correct. Let us put a time limit on the bet. Say within the next 20 years or until either of us dies, whichever occurs sooner. JE can be the impartial judge to award the bet money.

          11. The P=NP problem was posed in 1971 by Stephen Cook. So it has been an open problem for 47 years.


          JE comments:  This is a WAIS first--usually we limit our bets to coffee mugs and bottles of wine.  I've challenged two or three WAISers to baseball wagers, and lost 'em all.  Here's an algorithm to bank on:  don't bet on the Detroit Tigers.

          I'll let Tor respond to Istvan Simon's challenge.

          Istvan makes a noble effort, but my brain must be too humanistic (or simply too simple?) to understand the P = NP problem.  Cook's abstract (link immediately above) will sound like gibberish to most of us.

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          • The Wager... (Tor Guimaraes, USA 02/23/18 3:11 PM)
            I reply to Istvan Simon's challenge as follows:

            First, let's see if I can come up with specific names of Quantum Physics researchers who might be willing to communicate with Istvan. I will try.

            Regarding the wager, 20 years might be enough if we are betting that particle entanglement can be clearly demonstrated, so that Istvan will accept the evidence. Is that the bet? If the bet is the production of a Quantum Computer and Internet, we might need 50 years.

            Whatever we bet on, under no circumstance can my wife know about it. She will be very mad at me and I will never hear the end of it.

            JE comments: Your secret is safe with us, Tor!

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            • Quantum Entanglement: Online Lectures (Enrique Torner, USA 02/26/18 6:41 AM)
              I have followed with amusement the recent duel between WAIS scientists Tor Guimaraes and Istvan Simon.

              Quantum Mechanics is a science that only recently I have encountered, and I owe this to the best-selling novelist Dan Brown. He has written a couple of books in which this subject is a main theme, Angels and Demons being the one I know the best. However, my scientific knowledge is quite limited, and the language of quantum mechanics sounds like Chinese to me! Anyhow, curiosity got the best of me--as usual--and I decided to watch some lectures on quantum entanglement from The Great Courses. This was fascinating, but way too difficult for me to comprehend. Therefore, I thought I would share these lectures with WAISworld, so that those smart enough to understand this field, and interested in learning more about it, could watch the lectures.

              Here is a link to a lecture on entanglement from a course on Quantum Mechanics given by Dr. Benjamin Schumacher, one of America's top physicists, at The Great Courses. According to Wikipedia:

              "[Schumacher] discovered a way of interpreting quantum states as information. He came up with a way of compressing the information in a state, and storing the information in a smaller number of states. This is now known as Schumacher compression. This was the quantum analog of Shannon's noiseless coding theorem, and it helped to start the field known as quantum information theory.

              "Schumacher is also credited with inventing the term qubit along with William Wootters of Williams College, which is to quantum computation as a bit is to traditional computation."

              I am a member of The Great Courses Plus, and, for an annual fee, I have complete access to all the courses available there, which is a ton. Somehow, to my surprise, I realized that, by copying and pasting the url website address for one lecture onto my post, I gave you access to the whole course, so, if you are interested.  Enjoy!


              The following link will direct you to another lecture on entanglement that belongs to a course entitled "What Einstein Got Wrong," by Professor Dan Hooper, who is another outstanding scientist. Here is the biographical blurb included in The Great Courses guidebook that comes with the course:

              "Dan Hooper is a senior scientist and the head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). He is also an Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Hooper received his PhD in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After receiving his PhD, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, where he was a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow and a Millard and Lee Alexander Fellow. He was later the David Schramm Fellow at Fermilab.

              "Dr. Hooper's research has focused on the interface between particle physics and cosmology, covering topics such as dark matter, dark energy, supersymmetry, neutrinos, extra dimensions, and ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. He has authored more than 200 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has given an even larger number of technical talks at scientific conferences and as university seminars and colloquia. Dr. Hooper is the author of 2 books written for nonscientists. His first book, Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe's Missing Mass and Energy, is about the most perplexing topics in cosmology: dark matter and dark energy. His second book, Nature's Blueprint: Supersymmetry and the Search for a Unified Theory of Matter and Force, is about the Large Hadron Collider and the theory known as supersymmetry. Nature's Blueprint was called 'essential reading' by New Scientist magazine.

              "In addition to many technical publications, Dr. Hooper has written for popular magazines such as Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. He gives many public lectures and is frequently called on by the media to comment on science news. Dr. Hooper's television appearances include "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman", the BBC's Horizon, BBC World News, and Space's Deepest Secrets, and he has been interviewed on NPR's Science Friday."

              Those smart enough to understand this scientific language--not I!--might be able to discern what these top quantum mechanics scientists have to say about entanglement. Here is the link to the lecture on entanglement, and to the whole course:


              I hope these videos help WAISer scientists deliberate on which of the two WAISers involved in the first-ever bet on WAISworld--Tor Guimaraes and Istvan Simon--is right, if any. Or maybe we'll have to wait 20 years to know the winner. However, I don't know who will still be in WAISworld, or even in the world of the living. But then, who knows? Maybe by then humanity might have discovered the method of being able to bilocate oneself.

              May the smartest of the two win!

              JE comments:  The links above do require a sign-in, but a free trial is available.  (My guess is Enrique's computer sends out "cookies" which enable him to bypass the firewalls and passwords.)

              Regarding The Wager, Tor Guimaraes is pulling out on principle.  Stay tuned.

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    • "Speaking as a Scientist," Troll Farms, and Potemkin Villages; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA 02/24/18 4:14 AM)

      Gary Moore writes:

      I'm amazed at Istvan Simon's replies to news, already old, that quantum physics
      has steadily progressed in closing the loopholes in "entangled photons" theory,
      even well before the Chinese, earlier this year, announced they had successfully
      used the advances to cause "action at a distance" in a distant satellite.

      Less lengthy
      successes had already been achieved in the US and Canada--and the world has no
      shortage of scientists who can tell Istvan that these events have indeed occurred.
      When he says that "as a scientist" he doesn't believe in this long-standing trend,
      as if it were some crank's isolated imagining rather than a settled landmark on the
      Web and elsewhere, the frightening thing is that he sounds like Agassiz denying
      Darwin (now used proudly by Creationist heirs), or, worse, like the Church denying
      Galileo, speaking on the basis of what "must" be--rather than what is tested and

      When Istvan says he speaks "as a scientist" though suggesting an interestingly religious-like faith, a disturbing portrait is provided of the possible limits of discourse in some directions.
      The comments apparently sprang to life so suddenly that no effort was considered to be
      needed at even cursory inquiry into the readily available background.

      Moreover, in a world moving rapidly to outflank received wisdom, such resistance leaves
      scant room for turning to today's own newer revelation, in another changed-world dimension,
      that of politics and information. I'm talking now about the "troll farm" revelations in the
      Russia indictments--directly relevant to a thread that has commendably caused extended
      comment on WAIS, though we lacked the background to dissect the clues.

      Remember the
      mystifying Catalan alarm mass-email--the one that seemed to directly benefit neither
      of the contending parties? Suddenly the flood of revelations today is back-lighting
      a generic structure, chapter and verse. In a world where public information itself
      can become a Potemkin village (the New York Times's felicitous comparison), the act
      of leaping to the defense of Aristotle or Joshua on the movements of the heavens might
      seem doubly worthy of review.

      JE comments:  At least Potemkin villages were an attempt to make destitution seem like prosperity.  Troll farms do the opposite.  (I have read that the Russians call them "factories," not "farms.")

      I wonder:  ruble for ruble, has there ever been a more effective (and economical) tool of psychological warfare than the troll factory?

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      • Quantum Entanglement Again...and the Bet's Off (Tor Guimaraes, USA 02/26/18 7:15 AM)
        As Gary Moore stated on February 24th: "the world has no shortage of scientists who can tell Istvan [Simon] that these events [atomic particle entanglements] have indeed occurred."

        Besides Brian Greene, I have one more researcher who might be able to convince Istvan he should reconsider his negative view on this topic: Mani Bhaumik, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA.

        Regarding Istvan's proposed wager, I regret that I will move no further in that direction.

        JE comments:  We'll still stay on top of this over the next couple of decades.  WAIS plays the Long Game.  And no worries about the bet, Tor:  Earthly treasures are fleeting, but bragging rights are eternal!

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