Feeds

Beam me up? Not in the life of this universe

Student boffins find walking to the moon would be faster than teleportation

High performance access to file storage

If you ever doubted that the world needs vastly, incredibly, unbelievably more bandwidth, how about this: if you wanted to scan every detail of a human and teleport them via, say, a radio signal, it'll take a very, very, VERY long time.

How long? Try a "universe-is-not-old-enough-by-a-long-shot" kind of long time.

That's according to work from students at the University of Leicester, writing in that institution's peer-reviewed house journal Physics Special Topics. The fourth-year students, Declan Roberts, James Nelms, Suzanne Tower, and David Starkey considered two data: how much information would you need to transmit to teleport a whole human, and how long would it take using a reasonable estimate of bandwidth?

Presuming that the technology existed to actually transport an accurate “scan” of a human, right down to the DNA and the brain, the students came up with a total message size of 4.55 x 1042 bits. That's rather a lot: 4,550,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Terabits.

Which then brought them to the data transfer rate that could reasonably be deployed: since the Star Trek-style teleport is between an orbiter and people on the surface of a planet, the students picked a 0.5 GHz channel in the 30 GHz band for their thought experiment, and a stream rate of nearly 3 x 1019 symbols per second – or, if you prefer familiar terms, 30,000,000 Tbps.

Yes, that's a very high transfer rate. As the students note in the paper, they've assumed that a technology sufficiently advanced to build a Star Trek teleporter can work at close to the Nyquist limits of their sampling and communications technology.

Those two numbers put together – the amount of information in a person and the transfer rate – yield a transfer time of 4.85 x 1015 years. This, unfortunately, is somewhat greater than the age of the universe, at a mere 14 x 109 years.

And while Physics Special Topics is a student showcase, there's a serious point after all: to get students ready to deal with publications before it becomes their life-or-death obsession. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.