Will "beam me up, Scotty" become reality? Quantum mechanics suggests it may . . . and soon.
Since cyberspace — a word coined by a science fiction writer — became reality, the lines between "science" and "science fiction" have become increasingly blurred. Now, the young field of quantum mechanics holds out the promise that some of humanity's wildest dreams may be realized. Serious scientists, working off of theories first developed by Einstein and his colleagues seventy years ago, have been investigating the phenomenon known as "entanglement," one of the strangest aspects of the strange universe of quantum mechanics.
According to Einstein, quantum mechanics required entanglement — the idea that subatomic particles could become inextricably linked, and that a change to one such particle would instantly be reflected in its counterpart, even if a universe separated them. Einstein felt that if the quantum theory could produce such incredibly bizarre effects, then it had to be invalid. But new experiments both in the United States and Europe show not only that it does happen, but that it may lead to unbreakable codes, and even teleportation, perhaps in our lifetimes. . . .