Our friends at phys.org are reporting on an intriguing, indeed, somewhat breathtaking development in the field of quantum teleportation, but first, we need to set the stage a bit, with apologies to physicists ahead of time for the lack of mind-numbing equations.
Quantum teleporation is made possible by means of the phenomenon of entanglement. Suppose one "creates" two particles at the same instant with the same information embedded in each: same spin, same rotation, , same axial orientation, and so on, and then sends those two particles to very different locations any number of miles apart, and then alters one of the particles. In the wild and wooly world of quantum mechanics, because the two particles were entangled with the same information at the outset, a change of the information data set in the one, will instantly be reflected by a similar change in the other, regardless of the distance. Some theorize that the two particles are manifestations of a non-local field of information because of this phenomenon, making such information transference at a distance possible (Einstein called this phenomenon "spooky action at a distance').
The catch is, the particles have to be so "informationally entangled" to begin with.
That is, until now:
I hope you caught the interesting (and for me, breathtaking) part of this, explaining his idea, Dr. :
"It sounds very jazzy, but quantum teleportation is actually about making connections for information," said Bernstein. "What it does is send the complete quantum state from a single particle that comes specially prepared in that state to a different remote particle which has never interacted with it."
Now, for the physicists out there, this is being done on the Hamiltonian. And for the non-physicists, a little explanation of that rather intriguing idea is in order. The "Hamiltonian" is a kind of hyper-dimensional mathematical technique invented by Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton, who, interestingly enough, is the mathematician who invented the mathematical language of quaternions, which I've discussed in some of my books, and which was the language James Clark Maxwell's equations were originally written in (and which no college physics textbook that I'm aware of actually teaches any more). Hamilton began, with other mathematicians in the mid-19th century, the process of formulating the techniques of geometries in more than 3 spatial dimensions.
His process envisioned, essentially, a technique of imagining dimensions perpendicular to all the spatial dimensions preceding them. We're all familiar with this technique from our middle school geometry, when we are taught to imagine a dimension perpendicular to a line, to create a two dimensional space with all its polygons, and then, to imagine a dimension perpendicular to both of those dimensions to create a three-dimensional space, and the objects like Platonic solids within it. Mathematically speaking, of course, there was no limit to this process of imagination, and I well remember my 8th grade symbolic logic and algebra teacher, Mr. Thomas, asking us, "why not four dimensions? Five? How would you do that?" And the question provoked some significant stabs in the direction of hyper-dimensional languages which we didn't even know already existed, and which, of course, Mr. Thomas did.
Hamilton, of course, by imagining such a dimension perpendicular to the existing three dimensions of space, was one of these imaginative mathematicians, and he modeled this dimension very elegantly using imaginary numbers (such as the square root of negative two). Now, when physicists talk of these perpendicular dimensions and rotations into higher dimensional spaces, they use the word "orthogonal" (meaning perpendicular to the previous dimensions). Thus we could say that a tetrahedron is an orthogonal rotation of an equilateral triangle from two into three dimensions. Thus, the underlying conceptual object is the same, but it looks one way in two dimensions, and another way in three dimensions, and yet, some of its properties remain the same in both contexts(and for those paying attention, yes, we're talking formalized properties of analogies here). The underlying object itself thus becomes the focus of attention, and rather than calling it a polygon (two dimensions) or a solid (three dimensions), we can call it a polytope (n dimensions), and invent a mathematical description of it using the same techniques we used in the transitions from one to two to three dimensions.
And this is, in effect, what is going on here: Bernstein is using orthogonal vectors in n-dimensions to entangle information in systems not previously entangled to accomplish the transference of information "at a distance," and that strongly suggests that we may also be looking at experimental confirmations of the very idea of the existence of hyper-dimensional spaces and objects. It suggests something else, too, something truly breathtaking and reminiscent of ancient topological metaphors, and that is, in n-dimensions, everything is entangled with everything else in a non-local way and to greater or lesser degrees of entanglement(and another famous Irish physicist named Bell had a bit to say about the subject)... but that's another alchemical story altogether...
...for now, this little experiment is one to watch, because the long-term implications for the world we perceive and live in are immense.
See you on the flip side.
(Thanks to "K" for sharing this fascinating article with me).