QUANTUM ÇAT TELEPQRTATIQN
Teleportation of information is possible, e.g. by electromagnetic waves. But, can teleportation also be applied to material objects, using quantum mechanical waves? Already Schrödinger directed attention to some exceptional quantum properties of cats, making them the preferred objects of a teleportation experiment.
The drawback of using cats in a teleportation experiment is that it's difficult to tell were they go, as Kipling's cat has pointed out: "I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me." To know for sure the final destination of Schrödinger's cat after its teleportation requires decoherence. That is, the cat must interact with the external world by being the indisputable cause of some changes. The solution was found on page 227 in my book The Mathematical Theory of Information published by Kluwer 2002:
"In daily life ... we experience macroscopic patterns that are too much coincidences not to have a cause. Imagine looking from a distance at the window lights in a large city at night. Some light up, some go out. All of a sudden, every window goes dark. It cannot be a coincidence. There must be a cause. Maybe a cat in the transformer station!"
My teleportation experiment was carried out on August 13 (!) 2003 from Helsinki, Finland. The neighbor's two cats provided suitable objects, especially as they were in the habit of trespassing and making improper use of my grandchildren's sandbox. The target was Eindhoven, The Netherlands, selected because it is the hometown of my co-writer.
The experiment was a success! Certainly, it is the first well documented case of quantum teleportation thanks to the report in Eindhovens Dagblad the following day, Donnerdag 14 augustus. The Headline Kat orzaak grote stroomstoring translates to "Cat causes big power blackout". De geblakerde kat is bij de kabels gevonden. Essent heeft geen idee hoe de kat de volledig afgesloten kelder is binnengekommen, or "The burnt cat is found at the cable. Nobody has an idea how the cat could get into a completely closed cellar."
The only open question left was the whereabouts of the second cat. I was less than happy to hear in the same day evening news about a blackout from New York to Detroit, and Toronto to Ottawa. The prospect of FBI finding a cat and a DNA test tracking it back to Finland did not cheer me up. Partly because it indicated a gross inaccuracy in teleportation aim (workings of the uncertainty principle?), partly because of the potential damage claims that might exceed even my personal net worth. Luckily Enron had to take the blame owing to its "negative effect by weighing heavily on the share prices of power suppliers" (BBC business news 2003/08/15 13:10:09 GMT).
Things got worse: Exactly 10 days after Eindhoven, not only my computer and my lights went out. The whole Helsinki had a power black out, starting in a nearby transformer station. No cat was mentioned in the media, but was I the victim of teleretaliation by somebody? And yet 5 days later London was hit by a power black out on the very day Tony Blair was giving testimony at the hearing concerning the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Was it an act of quantum teleterror? One month later Italy was hit with a major blackout. Maybe I shouldn't have let the quantum cat out of the bag.