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I was wondering the other day about teletransportation (human). And I had the idea that as far as I know, matter is energy. So I was wondering if it's possible to excite matter so it turns into energy, energy which may be could be moved to another physical location and then it would be allowed to return to it's original form. Is this just plaint stupid or is it theoretically possible?

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With the physics we know it is absolutely impossible. It is science fiction. –  anna v Nov 29 '13 at 19:34
    
@annav Teleportation is real. Search news. Not human Teleportation, but it was matter Teleportation. –  Sachin Shekhar May 20 at 18:55
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@SachinShekhar that is quantum teleportation and has to do with information transfer using quantum states, another story. –  anna v May 20 at 19:15

3 Answers 3

It's impossible like anna v. said, but let's entertain the possibility for a second. Assume you have a star-trek like device, which is capable of transforming every atom in your body into energy. However, before this process is even started, the device would first have to register and store every bit of information about every atom, their exact configuration in your body, etc. Let's go with the figure found around the internet that the human body (a $70 \: \mathrm{kg}$ person) has $10^{27}$ atoms. It is clear that we would deal with an enormous amount of information. We would be able to store it, let alone do something with it. To the limits of science fiction, in a very distant future, maybe its possible. But for this day and age, its impossible. Practically and theoretically.

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Assume each particle requires 4 bits of information (an under-estimate), then we'd need $5\cdot10^{26}$ bytes = 500 yottabytes of accessible memory to store that information. Current estimates put total collection of human works at about 20 petabytes, one billionth the (under)estimated storage space for one person (let alone a 4-person away team) –  Kyle Kanos Nov 29 '13 at 21:21
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The last would not be a problem. We just beam them over one by one, starting with the red shirt. :) –  Hennes Nov 29 '13 at 23:58
    
So much work for Scotty. –  vnb Nov 30 '13 at 0:03
    
@kyle-kanos In fact i wasn't thinking about copying information. Instead i was thinking about transferring it. I mean, i've read that people think of it like "copying" each one of the body molecules, store them and replicating them somewhere else. I don't mean that. I mean, to excite somehow those molecules until they turn into energy, move them and then remove the element that excited them into energy so they go back to their original form/mass. I don't know if our body molecules can react like that or not. –  Mr X Colombia Dec 3 '13 at 16:27
    
@KyleKanos Why do you need to store that. We can use small buffer and continuously move out bits. –  Sachin Shekhar May 20 at 19:25

There is no humane way of transporting this person without killing the original and recreating an "clone" (if you say) this is both ethical. But since this is physics lets discuss its physics.

In 1905, Albert Einstein published mass-energy equivalence with the equation $E=mc^2$ this shows that there is a LOT of energy present in smallest of masses and that in mind we should know if we attempted to "excite" an object or an entity into energy we can expect pretty large explosion probably something like this but more 50+ depending on mass of an target object: enter image description here

That in mind it would be diffifult to maintain and control energies this size to safely convert into energy. That in mind as vnb said it must compute and scan every ATOM in the body, down to the last information. That being said a human body has $10^{27}$ like vnb rightly commented. That in mind we must then compute and register every atom with its place in the body, element and such other vital information this would take approx. 200+ bits per atom this would mean it would require an mind-boggling: $200 * 10^{27}$ bits of information for an average 70kg man.

The next difficulty we would come across is transferring this information onto the target destination. That would be incredibly slow and difficult process in any classical computers however since Quantum computing is extremely promising lets simply assume that being an destination transformer. That being said it would require roughly 64 - 32 qubits for this to happen. As the computational power for an quantum computer is:

$2^{64}$ for an 32 qubit computer while $2^{128}$ for an 64 qubit computer.

Now that in mind we got the computational power out of the way now lets discuss about the actual transporting.

In theory transporting should work HOWEVER once we somehow got the energy of the person or object via mass-energy- equivalence equation we must transport this energy to transformer and the best way is via photons (light in laymen terms) and it may seem pretty simple but once we consider the current problems such as objects coming in the way of it blocking information and such it starts to create problem but assuming its an ideal universe without any objects blocking disturbing it we will still encounter an red shift-issue which will result in loss of energy due to travelling through expanding space or gravitational environment. That must mean that the initial energy generated from our $E=mc^2$ would be lost to the space and this means once it reaches the destination the re-transformer would encounter energy issues as we don't have the original energy which would require creating new energy on the destination that re-creating the object.

That in mind the next issue is speed of light itself. Light is SLOW IN TERMS OF THE UNIVERSE SIZE YET FASTEST because if light is being sent to say the edge of the galaxy it would take roughly 100,000 years which is not exactly ideal.

Therefore currently in scientific-community its considered impractical and far-beyond our reaches to make it an viable transporting method but this COULD some day be possible so don't give up on creativity.

Kind Regards,

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In fact i was thinking (i don't know if what i'm about to say is physics heresy) about if our matter, our body can be somehow be turned like water: imagine a block of ice that you want to move: you can't easily move a block of ice which is huge. But you can thaw it (turn it into water) and have it sent to another location and then frozen back in it's original position. Well, sure, this might not be the best example as you need the container at the receiver's end but you get the point of what i was asking –  Mr X Colombia May 30 at 12:41

Others have explained how much information is stored in a macroscopic object, and how difficult is to store it.

But, what if we can store it? Using super-dupi compression algorithms and the memory bank of the Enterprise, we could possibly get close to it. And for an inanimate static object, we could send it in pieces small enough so they are manageable (if you tried that on a human it would get messy, and the human non cooperative). We can let the engineers worry about it.

Reading the data

For simplicity, let's assume a simple static object with simple chemistry. On a live cell there are lots of reactions going on, and quantum interactions are there to complicate things. We want to know the positions and state of every atom. One way I can think of is to throw particles at our object and see how they are scattered. If we do this enough times, we should theoretically be able to get enough information to reconstruct the 3D potential formed by all the atoms, and from there infer positions and states. You will need many particles per atom, probably hundreds or thousands. Also, you need their energies to be low enough so they don't perturb your system (for example, inducing electronic transfers). Perhaps this process could be speeded up by using different kinds of particles, that would be affected differently by the fields.

  • Problem: here we very much require the object to be truly static, to make measurements consistent.
  • Problem: this step also will put some constrains in the chemical species we are capable of transferring.
  • Problem: we need to temporally store much more information that the one purely necessary for knowing the object itself (but we have assumed we could do that).
  • Problem: reverting from the scattering to the potential is a known problem solved in particle physics. But there are so many degrees of freedom that our processing power has to be paired with the memory requirements.

Getting the matter

Ok, now we have an accurate enough model of where things are and where we want them to be. How do we transfer them? The problem is that you cannot just do "mater -> energy" transformation, there are conservation laws that have to be kept, such as X-charge If I have counted correcyly, the weak hypercharge for normal matter is 0, so we are left with the difference between barions and leptons. For each electron there is one proton, and there are a big bunch of neutrons. So, we either need to provide a lot of antibarions for the process, or we have to leave the neutrons behind, and reconstruct with local neutrons (you can sell it as eco-friendly teletransportation). Alternatively, we could always send only hydrogen (but it would have to be solid).

  • Problem: to avoid several conservation laws, we have to resort to a weak interaction process. Going from there to photons is a tricky way.
  • Problem: whatever you do, you need to control it exactly. Forgot your Heisenberg compensators?

Writting the object

At last, you need to deliver the particles at their proper place in a timely manner. If you put an electron before its nucleus, it will fly away and land somewhere else. The same goes for molecules, if they are not complete, they may react with their neighbours. The problem continues at macroscopic level. The simplest thing you can transfer is a monocristal block of metal. But even there, the surface (up to ~100 atoms in) is different than the bulk due to asymmetries at the border. This means you not only have to build the molecules at once, but they also have to be put together in a short timescale, or they will start deforming internally.

  • Problem: quantum processes, intrinsically random. How could you introduce redundancy?
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