Quan­tum tele­por­ta­tion could help flat Earthers

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE -

Amile­stone in quan­tum tele­por­ta­tion was reached by sci­en­tists in China who — for a lack of a bet­ter word — beamed pho­tons from Earth to a satel­lite or­bit­ing our spher­i­cal planet us­ing quan­tum en­tan­gle­ment.

The Den­ver Post Editorial Board is in­ca­pable of repli­cat­ing this ex­per­i­ment. But we trust the MIT Tech­nol­ogy Review re­port, which in­cluded the state­ment that “tele­por­ta­tion has be­come a standard op­er­a­tion in quan­tum op­tics labs around the world.” That’s the trans­fer of quan­tum state from one place to another, with­out the phys­i­cal trav­el­ing of the in­for­ma­tion. It in­stan­ta­neously ar­rives — in this case on a satel­lite cir­cling the globe and pass­ing the same place every­day at the same time.

Some of the most bril­liant minds of our time are in the process of bridg­ing the gap be­tween this small feat and quan­tum com­put­ers that process mul­ti­ple sce­nar­ios in­stan­ta­neously, or as the re­searchers stated in their re­port, a “glob­alscale quan­tum in­ter­net.” The pos­si­bil­i­ties of such tech­nol­ogy are a bit dis­ori­ent­ing.

Not dis­ori­ent­ing, how­ever, is the fact in this ex­per­i­ment that the Earth is a sphere. It’s a ver­i­fi­able sci­en­tific fact, and one the editorial board could not only prove but also pro­vide a rough es­ti­mate of the cir­cum­fer­ence of the Earth. All we’d need is two sticks of iden­ti­cal height in two cities a known dis­tance from one another, and an abil­ity to mea­sure the shadow the sticks cast at noon. That a group of Coloradans hold meetings as­sert­ing the Earth is flat in 2017, as re­ported by The Den­ver Post’s Gra­ham Am­brose this month, is also dis­ori­ent­ing.

To­day we all rely on the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity to peer review each other’s work and tell us lay­men what has re­ally oc­curred. Their dili­gence has re­sulted in re­mark­able tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments, safe vac­ci­na­tions, and an un­der­stand­ing of how green­house gases are im­pact­ing our cli­mate.

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