The R&D Club of NIT Trichy
A giant chain reaction started with a ‘Hello’. The revolution in our modern day communication technologies is taking us to places that we couldn’t even dream of. Humans have always had this undying need to communicate with each another and with their surroundings right from their evolution.
To begin with, humans started communicating through gestures and body-language. Eventually came the illustrious era of paintings and sculptures. This gave birth to symbols (letters) and each symbol was mapped to a particular physical attribute, emotion, place or time.
As decades went on, people started developing a variety of symbols which they called alphabets and started grouping them to form words. The words were given distinct meanings and eventually these words gave birth to languages. These are even now the basis for communication!
But, what’s the chain reaction that I was talking about? It is being caused not just by the advancements in the way humans communicate among themselves but by how machines communicate, how systems communicate and how this communication could ultimately lead us to our cosmic ancestors living in some corner of the universe.
This revolution started once we started using nature’s resources to communicate between ourselves. Take for example, the Holmes’ signal which guided ships or even our present day mobile phone communication which harnesses our wide electromagnetic spectrum.
On the other hand, there is an even bigger revolution. A revolution that started with a HIGH and a LOW. If we had regarded 0 and 1 as some random numbers in our math textbooks, we would never be here today in front of our computer screens. You are reading this article due to at least 1 million 0’s and 1’s arranged in a specific pattern and massive systems communicating at unbelievable speeds.
Change even some of the 0’s and 1’s and you shall mess up everything about this article. Our present day technology even allows you and me to be changed into some trillions of 0’s and 1’s arranged in a unique pattern. And what is the implication that no one could have ever thought of?
Imagine visiting any place in the cosmos without travelling! You could even end up in more than one place at a time just like the particles that you are made of! Cool, isn’t it?
As humans, we have always looked into the heavens searching for aliens. After all, if we humans could rise from the stardust in our tiny little galaxy, the Milky Way, I see no reason why life couldn’t thrive in the millions of galaxies which make up our universe. But, how can we be so sure? Well, we can go check it out ourselves! But is that possible? Mind you, we have a speed limit for travelling in the cosmos (the speed of light) analogous to our transportation systems back on Earth. But wait; We have a way out and that is through, ‘ENTANGLEMENT’!
Entanglement is a process by which the state of one particle directly depends on the state of another particle. It works even if the particles are separated infinitely apart from each other. For example, assume I have two bulbs which can emit either RED or GREEN light. I keep one of these bulbs with me and place the other at an infinite distance. Now, if these two bulbs are entangled, then if I make my bulb emit GREEN light, then I can say for sure that my other bulb will be emitting RED light. Analogous to this if I give logic 0 to my particle, I can be sure that my entangled particle on the other side is at logic 1. This is the basis for quantum teleportation which has already been achieved.
Nature has ‘entanglement’ inbuilt into its scheme of things. If we could add the flavor of 0’s and 1’s to it we could get a simple process to teleport complex systems. If we could teleport the Hubble Space Telescope to some other galaxy, we might get a totally different image of the universe and by repeating this process we could picture the whole universe and could have the whole universe fill our retinas!
But wait; why not go see it yourself instead of taking pictures of it?
After all, you and I are made up of a bunch of such quantum particles and one day we can be teleported. Such a thing would redefine human existence. We could all of a sudden end up in a place like Pandora and could finally make contact with our cosmic cousins. This would be the ultimate step towards making life in the cosmos eternal.
Moral of the story: Star Trek is no fantasy!!!