Scientists On the Trail of 'The Enemy Within'

By Michelle
February 21, 2006 - 9:10 PM

Scientists at the University of York and the University of Tokyo have demonstrated quantum telecloning - a very primitive version of what happened to Captain Kirk in "The Enemy Within."

The scientists made the first remote copies of beams of laser light, according to The process entails combining quantum cloning with quantum teleportation in a single step utilizing a new form of quantum entanglement: multipartite entanglement.

"Imagine Captain Kirk being beamed back to the Starship Enterprise and two versions of the Star Trek hero arriving in the spacecraft's transporter room," said the report. "It happened 40 years ago in an episode of the TV science fiction classic, and now scientists at the University of York and colleagues in Japan have managed something strikingly similar in the laboratory - though no starship commander was involved."

"Quantum mechanics allows us to do things which we previously thought were impossible," explained professor Sam Braunstein at the University of York. "Whether it will change the world for individuals or is just of use to governments or big companies is hard to say." This technology, he noted, could be used to tap cryptographic channels by concealing the identity of the eavesdropper.

However, added Braunstein, we are still a long way from teleporting people, let alone cloning them on a quantum level. "It would be incredibly difficult and from the perspective of today's technology," he said.

The original article is here.

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