Time Travel, Teleportation and Invisibility Cloaks Will All Exist by 2100


文/萨拉•格里菲思  译/逸心  审订/馨心
By Sarah Griffiths


Time travel and teleportation1 are staples in many sci-fi films, such as Star Trek. But some physicists say they will likely become possible before the end of this cen¬tury.

[2] While time travel may be the most ambitious2 feat of engineering, they say that it might be possible by 2100, while space tourism and invisibility cloaks will probably become available within just 15 years.

[3] Physicists from Imperial Col¬lege London and the University of Glasgow predicted when “sci-fi tech¬nologies” as seen in Star Trek, Star Wars, Back to the Future and Harry Potter will probably become scientific fact during the lifetimes of current school children.

[4] In research among a panel of top UK scientists and a study of 11-16 year olds commissioned by The Big Bang Fair3, scientists said that telepor¬tation could become a daily activity by 2080.

[5] The children polled thought time travel, which is seen in Back to the Future, might be possible 63 years from now, but scientists were not quite so optimistic.

[6] Colin Stuart, author of The Big Questions in Science, estimates humans will be able to jump ahead to see our future by 2100—just 85 years away. “Time travel to the future has already been achieved, but only in tiny amounts,” he said.
“The record is 0.02 seconds set by cosmonaut4 Sergei Krikalev. While that doesn’t sound too impressive, it does show that time travel to the future is possible and that the amount of time travel couldn’t be far greater.
“If you travelled through space on a big loop at 10 per cent the speed of light for what seemed to you like six months, approximately six months and one day would have passed on Earth.
“You’d have time travelled a day into the future. Travel at the same speed for 10 years and you’ll time travel nearly three weeks into the future.
“I would say we are looking at 2100 as a very optimistic timescale5 for travelling weeks into the future.”

[7] Teleportation however, which is a key feature in Star Trek, could become a regular occurrence by 2080, according to Dr Mary Jacquiline Romero from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.
The polled children were just two years out, predicting this will happen in 63 years.

[8] “Teleporting a person, atom by atom, will be very difficult… but perhaps developments in chemistry or molecular biology will allow us to do it more quickly,” she explained.
“The good thing about teleporta¬tion is that there is no fundamental law telling us that it cannot be done and with technical advances I would estimate teleportation that we see in the films will be with us by 2080.”
She said that physicists have achieved reliable teleportation, but it has only been done with electrons so far.
“To put this into perspective when thinking about human telepor¬tation, an atom can have many elec¬trons and a person is made of billions of atoms,” she said.

[9] However, we may get our hands on Harry Potter-style invisibili¬ty cloaks and be able to go on holiday in space in just 15 years’ time. Chris Phillips, Professor of Experimental Solid State Physics at Imperial College London said: “One way to create an ‘invisibility cloak’ is to use adaptive camouflage, which involves taking a film of the background of an object or person and projecting it onto the front to give the illusion of vanishing.
“We’re actually not that far away from this becoming a reality—rudimentary technology versions of this have already been created—but the main problem is that the fibre-like structures in the adaptive camouflage need to be so tightly woven that it’s incredibly labour intensive.
“With developments such as 3D printing allowing us to create previously impossible materials, it’s entire¬ly feasible that we could see a Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak within the next 10 to 20 years.”

[10] The panel of school children surveyed dramatically underestimated when they might be able to be tour¬ists in space, believing that it will take another 30 years’ time before this be¬comes a feature of their lives.

[11] However, commercial space flights are expected to blast off in 2015 with Virgin Galactic offering suborbital flights. SpaceShipTwo is projected to fly to a height of 68 miles (110 km), going beyond the defined boundary of space 62 miles (100 km) and lengthening the experience of weightlessness for its passengers.

[12] Paul Jackson, CEO of Engi¬neering UK, said: “The amazing and seemingly impossible things they see in films and television is acting as a stimulant for young people to think about what they could be capable of doing in the future.
“Almost a fifth of young people surveyed said they dream of becoming a lightsaber developer and 22 per cent want to be a teleporting instructor.
“More than a quarter even said they would consider a career as a time travel engineer, so we will need to think care¬fully about how we could provide useful careers advice for that 27 per cent.” ■
“超过1/4的人甚至说会考虑做时空穿梭工程师,因此我们将需要认真考虑如何为这27%的人提供有用的职业建议。” □

1. 通过光传播对物理对象或其特性进行复制或再创造,其过程为:先提取原物的所有信息,然后将这些信息传送到接收地点,接收者依据这些信息,选取与构成原物完全相同的基本单元(如:原子),制造出原物完美的复制品。遗憾的是,量子力学的不确定性原理不允许精确地提取原物的全部信息,因此这个复制品不可能是完美的。
2. 需要极大努力(或技能、进取心、胆量等)的,费力的。
3. “大爆炸”科技博览会是英国面向青少年开展的最大规模的科学和工程学庆典,每年举办一次,参赛对象为年龄在7到19岁之间的青少年,旨在鼓励青少年在科学、技术、工程及数学(science, technology, engineering, and math, 简称STEM)等方面有所建树。
4. (苏联的)宇航员,航天员。
5. (事情发生或完成所需要的)一段时间,期限。