The United States military is studying the feasibility of teleportation, "beaming up" people such as Osama Bin Laden or sending defense teams to difficult-to-reach locales.Yeah, I bet Osama is quaking in his turban.
The Scripps Howard News Service has picked up a story which quotes Ranney Adams, a spokesperson for the Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, as saying it would be ideal if the military could send soldiers to remote spots via teleportation. "But we're not there [yet]," he added.
The Air Force spent $25,000 last year on a study of teleportation physics to consider means of transporting people and cargo through space, though physicists said that the obstacles in terms of energy expenditure and data transfer are enormous.
"I would say that something is wrong with the way the Air Force allocates its research money, at least on this topic," said Phil Schewe, the chief science writer at the American Institute of Physics. He noted that experts can foresee using teleportation for encrypted data, but transporting large objects, let alone living beings, is a long way off.
But Center for Strategic and International Studies fellow Pierre Chao said that scientific advances required risks in funding. "The devil's bargain that you're going to take if you're going to exist in that cutting-edge [scientific] world and use taxpayer dollars is that you're going to be investigating some pretty goofy things," he said.
The encoding of the contents of a human body would require 10 to the 28th kilobytes of computer storage capacity, or 100 quintillion commercially available hard drives. Moreover, to dematerialize one human being the way Star Trek does it "would require...the energy equivalent of 330 one-megaton thermonuclear bombs."
Teleportation using anything like modern technology is absolutely not feasible. I know that some particle experiments have been conducted in which scientists have managed to transfer the properties of one particle to another, but that's not even close to macroscopic teleportation. Twenty-five thousand dollars may not be much in the grand scale of the US military budget, but it's still twenty-five thousand dollars of complete waste. It's about as bad as when the military was investing in "remote viewing" research.
Research on the "entanglement" principles involved in particle "teleportation" will continue, and I dare say it will consume more than $25,000. I dare also say that the money being squandered by the Air Force is most likely going into some kind of scam. Maybe it's just another appropriation for the UFO study program out in Roswell, New Mexico, or funding for undercover agencies so secret that not even the President knows about them.
Government waste is another problem that a healthy dose of skepticism and scientific literacy in the population might alleviate.