Researchers in Germany claim to have figured out how to teleport information from one place to another using lasers.
Dr Alexander Szameit and Dr Marco Ornigotti from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Jena said while it is not yet possible to teleport solids from location to location, they have devised a way to teleport their properties using a laser beam.
Using their knowledge of quantum mechanics, they have managed to teleport elementary particles such as light particles and electrons in a “spatially delocalised state,” which allows them to be in two separate places at the same time.
Dr Szameit said: "Within such a system spread across multiple locations, it is possible to transmit information from one location to another without any loss of time.”
It is a process known as quantum teleportation which has been known about for some time but has yet to be demonstrated, until now.
Their study, published recently in Laser & Photonics Reviews, states that the duo performed quantum teleportation by encoding information in a certain polarisation direction and transmitted it into the shaper of a laser beam.
Dr Szameit added: "Just like it did at the starship USS Enterprise, the information is transmitted fully and instantly, without any loss of time.
"This makes this kind of information transmission a highly interesting option in telecommunication for instance.”
The pair say that many technological advances were inspired by Star Trek, such as “Doors that open automatically, video telephony or flip phones – all things we have first seen on the starship USS Enterprise”.
In Star Wars, the characters used a ‘transporter’ which converted a person into an energy pattern when they stood on one of the pads, and were teleported using laser beams to a pad in a different location.
The 1986 fictional movie The Fly, starring Jeff Goldblum, is an example of how teleportation can go wrong now, after he comes a man-fly hybrid after an insect gets stuck in his teleportation device.