Thursday, October 05, 2006

Beam me Up !

Mills of the gods

I like to joke from time to time about my complete lack of understanding of anything involving mathamatics or science. The fact of the matter is that I never got past Geometry and Biology I in high school, and it took me longer than the normal student just to get past those. I never attempted another math course, although I took Into to Geology and Intro to Astronomy in college with undistinguished results. Throughout my life I have often wondered if I am really that incompetent in those areas, or just lazy. I bought a book by Albert Einstein some years ago. This very slim volume was written by Einstein in order to explain the two theories of relativity to a non-technical audience. Einstein felt that a person with a high school education could understand the theories. Maybe. I know that after two attempts to read the book, a person with a law degree can not understand them.

This comes up this morning because scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark have managed to teleport an object to a distance of about half a meter. Now the object is a macroscopic object containing "thousands of billions of atoms". The article I read does not say what this macroscopic item is. This is troubling in that I would like to know what is being picked up and whisked away for half a meter. I would like to know what was transported because I will never know how it was transported. Eugene Polzik (apparently the "Scotty" of the 21st century) says that "Our method involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact. " So, in other words, it's like a game of Twister, where no one touches ? Well, no, it turns out that this entwinement is really the result of Quantum "entanglement" which involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact. But the real breakthrough is that the teleporting went between light and matter. This had never been done before. Since I don't understand what that means, that particular portion of the breakthrough lacks much of an impact on me.

But if I understand what I am reading, we, or at least the Danish, are now making real inroads into Star Trek like transporting. Something so important that it would rival the Monkee-mail as a scientific breakthrough. Imagine doing away with the whole notion of time and distance when it comes to travel. Want to go to Australia, but have not got the nervous stability for a fifteen hour flight ? Now you can just be beamed there. That is assuming that the process works on humans and can be made to go further than half a meter at a time. Can you imagine ? You will be able to sleep late every day because you won't have to commute to work. You will never have to sit in a traffic jam and miss a kickoff of a football game. You will be able to beam down onto other planets to seek out adventure, and boldly go where no man has gone before. And this will all be possible if the Danish will share their research with us. That should be no problem. They were very free all of these years in sharing their pastries with us. This seems to be much more important to the world than a Prune Danish. But what if they don't ? That means that the Danish will rule the world, that's what that means. Beaming in armies without having to physically invade a country. Beaming in bombs without having to fly them over. Can you live in a Danish dominated world ? A people who are known only for their furniture (and even then only the "modern version of it) and the statue of the Little Mermaid in their capitol of Copenhagen ? What do you know about the Danish ? Nothing, unless you have seen the Danny Kaye movie "Hans Christian Andersen". They don't really fight wars anymore or show up much in the Olympics or over at the U.N. And these guys could well be running the whole show in a matter of a few years (or days for all we know). Really makes you think. All those years kissing up to the Arabs when just a small investment in Denmark would have solved all of our problems. Hope we are not too late. Skoal ! or is it Copenhagen ?

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