If reality was a science-fiction novel, the prologue for the one starting today would include this text:
Masahiro Hotta at Tohoku University in Japan has come up with a much more exotic idea. Why not use the same quantum principles to teleport energy?
Today, building on a number of papers published in the last year, Hotta outlines his idea and its implications. The process of teleportation involves making a measurement on each one an entangled pair of particles. He points out that the measurement on the first particle injects quantum energy into the system. He then shows that by carefully choosing the measurement to do on the second particle, it is possible to extract the original energy.
All this is possible because there are always quantum fluctuations in the energy of any particle. The teleportation process allows you to inject quantum energy at one point in the universe and then exploit quantum energy fluctuations to extract it from another point. Of course, the energy of the system as whole is unchanged.
He gives the example of a string of entangled ions oscillating back and forth in an electric field trap, a bit like Newton’s balls. Measuring the state of the first ion injects energy into the system in the form of a phonon, a quantum of oscillation. Hotta says that performing the right kind of measurement on the last ion extracts this energy. Since this can be done at the speed of light (in principle), the phonon doesn’t travel across the intermediate ions so there is no heating of these ions. The energy has been transmitted without traveling across the intervening space. That’s teleportation.
Chapter One would be the construction of giant solar panels in space. The world would transition away from not just coal, but nuclear power too. We’d have a reason, nay be compelled to build a giant space fleet, setting up relay stations and outposts at first the Moon, then in orbit around Venus and Mercury.
Chapter Two would be the creation of a fleet powered by this very energy, having the power of the sun beamed straight into the star drives.
Chapter Three.. well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Crazy, I know. But a guy can only hope for the best, right?!