Sorry, Star Trek teleportation is impractical

Star Trek fans will be disappointed to hear that researchers at the University of Leicester have calculated the time and energy required to beam a complete person from the Earth’s surface to a location in space.

The method of teleportation depicted in sci-fi is called called “destructive copying”.  This means that a source person is scanned and copied down to the molecular level and then reconstituted at a secondary location.

While they don’t tell you that this would be a suicide machine as the source person would be destroyed during the copying procedure, it would also take huge amounts of energy and bandwidth.

The new study, published by fourth year students at Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, makes painfully clear it would take a hideously long amount of time to transmit all this information to a source location.

Using a theoretical jaunt from the  surface of the Earth to a location in orbit directly above it, the researchers worked out how much data a person is made up of.

The students decided that transferable data could be represented by the DNA pairs that make up genomes in each cell. This means that there are 10 billion bits of information in each cell.

After calculating the amount of information encapsulated in a typical human brain, the total data content was shown to be 2.6×1042 bits.

If you managed to have a bandwidth rate of about 29 to 30 GHz  it would take 4.85×1015 years to transmit that amount of data, which is 350,000 times longer than the current age of the Universe.