|Star Trek Teleporter: NBC image|
Thanks to physics, and the truly bizarre quirks of quarks, those Star Trek style teleporters may be more than fiction.
A strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe — a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that teleportation or even time travel may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers.
Until this year, all human-made objects have moved according to the laws of classical mechanics, the rules governing ordinary objects. Toss a ball in the air and it falls back to Earth. Drop a coin from your roof and it falls into your yard. But back in March, a group of researchers designed a gadget that moves in ways that can only be described by quantum mechanics — the set of rules that governs the behavior of tiny things like molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles.
And the implication — that teleportation and even time travel may someday, somehow be a reality — is so groundbreaking that Science magazine has labelled it the most significant scientific advance of 2010.