Saturday, February 19, 2011


Teleportation, the movement of objects from point A to point C without passing through the space between, actually does happen, on the quantum level. Individual atoms have been known to teleport around, though macro-sized objects, things at our level, do not. Developing some means of actually doing so would revolutionize hundreds of industries, from manufacturing (why weld when you can just teleport the steel into the right places) to transportation (Instead of bothering with boats and trucks, goods are teleported from the factory that made them to the store that sells them....or even to the buyer's home) to mail (the post office only needs one facility now: teleportation central).
Attempts to bring this to fruitition often involved some very strange ideas indeed. There was a guy who was popular when I first came to the internet, and surprisingly is still around. Alex Chiu, a rather odd businessman and philosopher, was hawking his "immortality rings," which appear to be some sort of re-machined industrial washer that he then magnetizes and claims that it provides immortality to the wearer. Wouldn't the world be crowded if everyone was immortal, people asked him? He responded in the affirmative...and then answered that a teleportation machine that he invented. It involves a series of coils, which according to Mr. chiu's beliefs about atoms, would convert the atoms into a signal which could then be transmitted to the receiver. I find this idea strangely popular, especially with string theorists.
If human-sized object teleportation is possible, by what means could it occur?

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I thought it was science fiction. I thought it was comic book stuff. I thought it was manifestly insane, but someone has done it. Popsci magazine reports that picoengineering was invented a week or two ago.
For the experiment, one of the electrons in a helium atom was replaced with a muon, which has a similar charge, but is much smaller. And then an interesting thing happened: The helium started acting, chemically, as hydrogen. This has many interesting implications.
For one, if this turns out to be inexpensive enough, you could substitute cheaper materials by bind away some of the electrons. Need thalium? You could substitute lead. Substitute Sulfur for Phosphorous.
Nanoengineering is the production of things ten to the minus nine power meters in size, a billionth of a meter, the size of atoms. Picoengineering is three times smaller than that, dealing with the internal components of the atoms themselves.
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