February 8, 2012


   So this might be a strange entry. I want to talk about teleporters and their impact on the world.
   Let me start by eliminating some of your preconceptions. First I am not talking about magical teleportation as in Nightcrawler from X-Men. I'm also not talking about beaming as seen in Star Trek or Stargate SG-1. Though what I want to talk about relates to the latter.
   So the other day as I was driving home from work I was thinking about how great it would be if I could teleport home and skip all the time wasted. Then I started to mind drift into Star Trek and thought about how someone's body is essentially torn apart and put back together. A similar thing takes place in Stargate at one point but it is achieved through the use of a small platform that can transport a person or persons to any other platform on the planet. For a short time my mind drifted into slidewalks and such before returning to an idea.
   My thought went kind of like this: Star Trek had it wrong in that you can't just rip a person apart and send them through the air or subspace and put them back together. It would hurt. Actually it would kill you and the person that arrived on the other side wouldn't be you. It would be a copy of you.
   So I started to think about how teleportation could really be done. I came to one conclusion, it can only be done using a quantum tunnel. The truth is I don't know if such a thing exists or could exist. However, I can describe to you exactly what it would do and what it would feel like using it. I can also tell you some of what it would do to you and your life.
   Let me describe this thing for you. It would be a platform of sorts. Think of it as something like a dock. It would probably be a round pad with concentric circles. The largest circle would be something like 6 feet across. Each circle would be somewhat smaller until the inner circle, which would be about the size of 1 person standing. The entire thing would have a door to enclose it, probably see through material like poly-carbonate.
   The way it works is you stand on the platform and dial in another machine kind of like a telephone. The door closes as it dials. When a connection is made to the platform on the other end it would detect which circles were in use and adjust accordingly. When the other machine was ready and the connection was set you would suddenly be there.
   That sounds pretty magical to me. But the way my brain thinks is a bit more detailed. The first thing I thought after this idea hit me was, "What would it feel like?" I was curious if someone using it would actually heave their lunch. I decided that the way it would feel is actually not unlike blinking and moving your head while your eyes are briefly closed. Occasionally it can make one dizzy but the brain mostly takes care of it. The reason it wouldn't be sickening is simply because the quantum tunnel is so short as to be indetectably small. You see, the quantum tunnel, if it exists or can be made, isn't really a tunnel. It works by placing you somewhere else. There is no travelling. You jump outside of space and time and suddenly are there.
   It's really hard to explain without explaining quantum entanglement. And to be completely honest I'm not really a physicist and I am probably not qualified to explain it. I just think this is possible.
   Okay, let's all just overlook the seemingly impossible parts and think about impact.
   What would this technology do to you? I think I know part of what it would do to you and do to us as a species.
   On a personal level you would probably spend a lot less time in a car. This means more family time. It means more personal time, if you want it. Which ultimately probably means more TV. It would mean a lot less radio time.
   On a larger scale it wouldn't really be like Star Trek. At least not like the movies we see. It would mean the end to some very large car manufacturers. People all over would buy less vehicles. How many vehicles do you own? I own 2. If I suddenly bought one of these I would probably sell one of my cars to help buy it. As more and more homes bought these and more and more businesses and stores did I would likely consider sell both of my cars. I kind of think the perfect place for this is in the garage.
   You know how the Internet has made the world smaller? I personally keep in touch with friends all over the country. One friend of mine and I often jokingly talk about sharing a meal at any given time even though I live in LA and he lives in San Francisco. This thing would make that joke a reality. I could live anywhere and see my friends every day if I wanted.
   That got me thinking about work. Living in the Los Angeles area I make better money than I would living in Iowa or Utah or Idaho or Nevada. But most of the extra money I earn is wasted on the much higher cost of living (not to mention the highest in the country car insurance and nearly highest gas prices). With this device I could live in Iowa and my commute would still be non existent. So what I realized after that is people would begin to pour out of the large cities. Not everyone of course but a lot of people would realize they can live anywhere within a timezone maybe two of their employer and be just fine.
   The next thing I realized is that international borders would be seriously threatened. The scariest part was the idea that a bomb could easily be transported from anywhere to anywhere. That made me a little crazy. I spent the next 10 or 20 minutes thinking about security measures this device would have to have. I'll skip that part here.
   This post is kind of an insight to how I think. I realize this product isn't real. I believe it could be but not being a physicist I couldn't really postulate a real description of why I think it could be real. But hey, wouldn't it be really cool?!