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The Physics of Teleportation - Jumper
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Feb 12, 2008, 08:26 PST

Lesson Plans for Jumper

Grade Level: 7-12

Subject: Science, Physics,

Film: Jumper

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some language and brief sexuality.

Keywords: Jumper, physics, science, teaching about science through film, film, ClassBrain, , teaching with movies, teaching with film, using movies in the classroom, lesson plans for literature, language arts lesson plans, lesson plans, Lesson Plan, Movies in the Classroom,

Author: Cynthia Kirkeby

Affiliation: ClassBrain, Inc.

Date: 12 February 2008

Duration: 1 - 2 Class Periods

Background on the physics surrounding Jumper, the movie

Teleportation is the instantaneous or near-instantaneous transportation of an object from one location to another.

Just over a century ago the concept of teleportation was almost unknown, except perhaps in Eastern cultures where the concept of human teleportation was revered as something enlightened being could do when they were able to transcend the ordinary world. By the mid-20th century, we were dreaming of being able to teleport from one location to another. Star Trek had the "transporter" and who didn't wish Scotty could beam them up from their car the next time they ended up in traffic? But is the idea of teleportation something with actual scientific validity? Some of the major physicists of our day think it might. In a way we already have some very rudimentary forms of teleportation happening. When we send a fax we disassemble an image at one location and re-assemble it on the other end. In Willy Wonka that lead to terrible consequences, but in this universe somethings you have to

Scientists can now “entangle” photons, then separate them by a distance, then alter the state or encode information to one of the photons. The magic (which was called “spooky action” by Einstein himself) is that the second photon demonstrates the changes made to the first, regardless of the distance separating them! Although this is just the very beginning of our understanding of the potential for this effect, as we learn more about such teleportation properties it holds incredible potential for transmitting and moving information. It might even hold the key to jumpscars, wormholes and entanglement.

Physics Project 1 - Teleportation Methods

In quantum teleportation one scans out part of the information from object A (the original), which one wants to teleport to object B, while causing the remaining unscanned part to pass into another object C. In the end, C is used to rebuild B at the receiving station.

Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen discovered in 1935 that when two particles come into contact with one another, they can become “entangled.” Measuring the polarization of one of the pair of entangled photons induces the other photon, which may be light-years away, into the same state of polarization as that which was measured for its entangled twin. Whatever you do to one of them affects the other one in a predictable fashion. The two can be separated by arbitrarily large distances in space-time (possibly even backwards in time!)

There is a subtle, unscannable kind of information that, unlike ordinary information or material, can be delivered via EPR correlations/entanglement, such that it cannot by itself deliver a meaningful and controllable message. But quantum teleportation delivers exactly that part of the information in an object that is too delicate to be scanned out and delivered by conventional methods.

One concept of teleportation uses the topological tunnels connecting different points of space (wormholes or Einstein-Rosen bridges). Jumpscars, as depicted in the film, are examples of this effect. Users would simply step through, or jump, to the other end without any apparent travel time passing. The other end would be clearly visible through the wormhole (or jumpscar as defined in the film) as if gazing through a doorway. If you're trying to get an idea of what this would be like, think Stargate SG-1. Jumper takes this idea and amps it up, since the "jumpers" are doing it without technology, everything happens much much quicker.

In “Jumper,” we are possibly observing a combination of some or all of these five concepts of teleportation.
  1. Teleportation – The disembodied transport of a person or inanimate object across space/time by futuristic technological means (bio-molecular).

  2. Psychic Teleportation – The conveyance of persons or inanimate objects by psychic means.

  3. Teleportation by engineering so that persons or inanimate objects can cross the vacuum of space/time by altering its properties.

  4. Teleportation by entanglement as described above using objects A, B and C.

  5. Teleportation by the conveyance of persons or inanimate objects by transport through extra space dimensions or parallel universes.

Watch Jumper and see which scenes represent which type of teleportation. Write a paper discussing one or more of the different types of teleportation.

Thoughts to Ponder

  • Which forms of teleportation seem feasible?
  • Which seem mere fantasy.
  • Do you think we're close to being able to actually teleport anything in the near future?
  • Do you think teleporting a human or other living creature may have special restrictions compared to an inanimate object?
  • Which modern day devises appear to show a rudimentary form of teleportation?
  • In the film Jumper the Paladins consider the Jumpers an abomination, something unnatural. Do you think that man should have the ability to instantaneously teleport from one location to another, or do you think this is something we should never allow?

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