Study: Teleportation would have a slight time-to-transmit problem

Aug. 2, 2013 at 3:39 PM
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LEICESTER, England, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- British researchers say even if teleportation were possible, sending the required data to teleport a person would take longer than the age of the universe.

Physics student at the University of Leicester calculated how much data it would take to represent a human being, determining it would be in the region of 10 billion bits, the amount of data encoded by DNA base pairs in the human genome.

That number, added to how much information would have to be fed into the human brain to restore the teleport traveler's pre-teleportation mental state, resulted in a staggering figure of 2.6 tredicillion bits, NBC News reported Friday.

Transmitting that data over a bandwidth standard for satellite communications would take 4.85 quadrillion years, 350,000 times longer than the universe's current estimated age of 13.8 billion years, the researchers said.

"Our results indicate the time scales to complete a full teleport of an individual are a little too lengthy at this time," researcher David Starkey said. "Current means of travel remain more feasible."

The students reported their findings in the Journal of Physics Special Topics, an online publication created by the University of Leicester to answer burning questions on the fringes of science.

"A lot of the papers published in the journal are on subjects that are amusing, topical or a bit off-the-wall. ... But to be a research physicist -- in industry or academia -- you need to show some imagination, to think outside the box, and this is certainly something that the module allows our students to practice," Leicester physicist Mervyn Roy said in a release.

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