Author Topic: Beaming Scottie!  (Read 2196 times)

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Offline mayya

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Beaming Scottie!
« on: September 20, 2013, 16:24:17 PM »

Beaming Scottie!

Vithal C Nadkarni, ET Bureau Sep 18, 2013, 04.34AM IST

 During a recent chat, this writer spoke to friend and fellow columnist Mukul Sharma about mini-marvels of levitation wrought recently by scientists with the use of sound waves. This evoked visions of astral travel by boffins of the future chanting special mantrasakin to Om Mani Padme Hum!

 We should clarify that Swiss scientists used acoustic levitation for more mundane purposes such as making instant coffee in tiny portions and for inserting DNA into cells! They also levitated a tiny wooden toothpick — a historic first — and managed to wave it around and back and forth with only sound waves; but at 169 decibels, these were loud enough to burst human eardrums.

 Obviously, beaming up Scottie and Star Trek friends such as Captain Kirk and Spock will require other user-friendly "mantras"! The techniques involved at the purely physical level are likely to be resolved within the next century, says physicist Michio Kaku in an evocation of the future.

 He is understandably silent on issues such as the likely impact of transportation on the subjects' identities: whether they can survive intact at all and how much distortion they can withstand. What if the technology were feasible? A survey showed a third of philosophers believed personal ego would survive; a third thought it would perish and the rest believed in something else.

 In Travels to Silent Land, neuroscientist Paul Broks wonders what might happen in botched beaming. Would it create different versions of the same person? Probably not if you don't believe in the soul at all, he concludes.