Followup: The Star Trek Transporter is a Suicide Box [Video]

If you follow this blog, you’ve surely seen CGP Grey’s awesome video about teleportation. The video is super interesting, but there’s one thing the Youtuber forgot to cover: the fact that there’s no cloning in Quantum Mechanics.

It is impossible to create an identical copy of a quantum state without destroying the original – in fact, you HAVE to destroy the original arrangement in order to extract all the necessary information from it to construct the new, teleported, state. In fact, the relevant theorem in quantum mechanics is called the “no cloning” theorem. Now, we don’t yet know exactly how brains work to create consciousness, but if the quantum states of some electrons somewhere in the brain are critical to perfectly determining — and thus copying — “you”, then a teleporter would necessarily have to obey the rules of quantum teleportation when sending the information about the arrangement of particles that are “you” to the new location, and whatever was left behind would definitively *not* be you.

So yeah, this means that transporter as we see them in Star trek are essentially suicide boxes.

[MinutePhysics | Via Gizmodo]