Quantum Teleportation and issues with consciousness is a much-debated issue especially among the fans of Star Trek and among the many science videos on youtube. The biggest concern coming up is while it may be possible to teleport or replicate our exact anatomical structure does the part of us that is our consciousness teleport or is it left behind and essentially killed off?
While there is still a long way to go before we will be able to teleport living matter lets go over some of the basics of the 1990’s discovery of quantum teleportation and then see what the debate is all about.
What is Quantum Teleportation?
Quantum teleportation is not like teleportation in the fictional world. It doesn’t take all of your atoms and then energetically transport them to a new location where you are reassembled. Instead, it is a process where the exact atomic information in one location is exactly duplicated onto new atoms in a new location.
So in a sense instead of teleporting from one place to another, you are essentially just duplicating every bit of an object or person down to the very last detail. The problems with this is that in order to perform a teleportation the original body, or object, would need to be destroyed in order to exactly duplicate it in the new location perfectly.
If that were to happen to a person does that essentially mean that we would die on our way through the teleportation only to be a duplicate of ourselves with the same memories but completely different self-structure on the other side?
Now that we understand a bit more about what we are dealing with let’s jump into the first video where CGP Grey explores scientific questions around ‘The Trouble with Transporters‘.
It is you on the other end of the transporter or just a copy that thinks it is you?
I guess this all comes down to what we consider ourselves to be. Are we our bodies and physical brains or is there more going on that meets the eye? What if the teleportation only moves our physical bodies and doesn’t include undiscovered frequencies that make up our ability to be ourself?
When you think about the fact that as we eat and age our physical body is constantly being replaced by new atoms while our minds and self-identity remain fairly consistent, then maybe the idea of going through a transporter isn’t that big of a deal. Especially if you feel like yourself on the other side and are then are able to continue life without any side effects when it comes to body, mind, and retaining memories.
Minute Physics decided to tackle these questions further by bringing up some important points to add to this discussion, check it out below.
Minute physics does a great job of wrapping the theory up with a basic overview of quantum teleportation and why we would essentially be destroyed every time we wanted to teleport anywhere.
Would you use a teleporter if you knew that you would essentially be destroyed each time? Join the discussion below and let us know what you think about teleportation!
Image Source: MinutePhysics