How Was the Teleporter Invented and When?

Have you ever wished you could say ‘Beam me up, Scottie!’ and be instantly transported to wherever you wanted to go?

Energise! There’s no doubt that a teleporter, a device that can transport anything instantly over any distance, would be one of the most brilliant inventions ever, if only someone had got round to inventing it. No more waiting for buses in the pouring rain, no more sitting in traffic jams. Think of all the time you’d save for more important things.

However, the chances of someone inventing a real teleporter seem pretty remote. Somehow, you’d have to work out a way of converting every atom of a person or thing into a stream of fast-moving energy, find a way of directing that energy wherever you wanted it to go, then rearrange all the atoms exactly as they were to start off with at the destination (otherwise you might end up with an ear in the middle of your face).

On the other hand, physicists are currently researching ‘quantum teleportation’, which relies on a strange phenomenon in which two particles can be co-related, so that if one behaves in a certain way, the same thing happens to the other, no matter how far apart they are.

One day this spooky-sounding science could be used to communicate and even to create copies of the particles at remote destinations.

To boldly go where no man has gone before. Teleporters were invented back in the 1960s in the TV series Star Trek. The program’s ‘matter transporter’ was used countless times to remove the main characters from perilous situations.

Unlike a time machine, you can’t travel through time with a teleporter, you can only travel from one place to another in the present. Which situations have you wished you could be teleported to or away from? List six times when you wished you could disappear, e.g. an embarrassing moment, a boring family function, or a telling-off. GET ME OUT OF HERE!

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