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Mon, Nov 08, 2004

USAF Report Suggests Spending $7.5 Million To Study Teleportation

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

If you thought you heard a laugh of derision last week, you were probably listening to physicists and financial watchdogs keeping an eye on the military. The reason? An 88-page report posted by the Federation of American Scientists on its website. In short, the report has generated a collective "PSHAW!" from serious scientists in this country.

What raises the hackles on scientists' necks are lines like these, taken directly from the study:

These concepts are based on the existence of parallel universes/spaces and/or extra space
dimensions. The theoretical and experimental work that has been done to develop these concepts is
reviewed, and a recommendation for further research is made.

The report looks at three different kinds of teleportation:

  • Quantum teleportation, which changes the characteristics but not the location of sub-atomic particles over great distances
  • Wormholes, where the report's author, Eric Davis, suggests intense gravity can literally rip open "entrances to distant locales."
  • Psychokinesis -- psychic manipulation of the physical (sort of like Uri Geller's spoon bending)

"It is in large part crackpot physics," said physicist Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University, in an interview with USA Today. He's the author of "The Physics of Star Trek," a book detailing the physical limits that prevent teleportation. He describes the Air Force report as "some things adapted from reasonable theoretical studies, and other things from nonsensical ones."

The study cost the Air Force $25,000. In it, Davis recommends the government spend another $7.5 million for further investigation. But FAS scientists maintain the only teleportation that will result from that expenditure will the disappearance of taxpayer money and the simultaneous appearance of said money in the researcher's wallet.



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