Star Trek fans may be happy to hear that the Air Force has paid for an 88-page study of teleportation. But scientists aren’t so thrilled.
The Air Force Research Lab’s August Teleportation Physics Report, posted earlier this week on the Federation of American Scientists Web site, struck a raw nerve with physicists and critics of wasteful military spending.
In the report, author Eric Davis concludes that psychic teleportation, moving yourself from location to location through mind powers, is “quite real and can be controlled.” The report also reviews a range of teleportation concepts and experiments:
• Quantum teleportation, a technique that shifts the characteristics but not the location of subatomic particles at great distances.
• Wormholes, a highly theoretical possibility whereby the intense gravitational field near black holes could rip open entrances to distant locales.
• Psychokinesis, or psychic teleportation. In support of the idea, the report cites UFO reports, Soviet and Chinese studies of psychics and U.S. military studies of spoon-bending phenomena.
“It is, in large part, crackpot physics,” says physicist Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University, author of The Physics of Star Trek, a book detailing the physical limits that prevent teleportation. Some experts have long criticized what they see as a military sweet tooth for junk science. A “remote viewing” project, for example, sought to see whether psychic powers could be employed to spy on the Soviet Union. The teleportation report “raises questions of scientific quality control at the Air Force,” says Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists.
Davis, a physicist with Warp Drive Metrics of Las Vegas, couldn’t be reached for comment. The Air Force paid $25,000 for the report, part of a $20.5 million advanced rocket and missile design contract. The report calls for $7.5 million to conduct psychic teleportation experiments.
“The views expressed in the report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Air Force, the Department of Defense or the U.S. government,” says an Air Force Research Lab statement sent to USA Today.
Explaining why the lab sponsored the study, Air Force Research Lab spokesman Ranney Adams said, “If we don’t turn over stones, we don’t know if we have missed something.” Dan Vergano, USA Today