Re: Quantum Telemetry

Hal Finney (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 21:49:52 -0800

my inner geek, <>, writes:
> How small can the quantum teleportation/telemetry devices be
> constructed? Would it be possible to engineer biological systems
> with quantum telemetry inside cell structures?

I don't think the term "quantum telemetry" is a very good one. As I remarked earlier, explanations of quantum teleportation in terms of "transfer of quantum information" are misleading. No "quantum information" is transferred in the normal sense that we think of information transfer. No useful signal can be transmitted, for example.

To do telemetry of biological systems, quantum or otherwise, you will need conventional technology which can send a conventional signal to the receiving device. In my opinion, supported as well by the comments I posted earlier, this classical information is good enough for the kinds of purposes Ken is asking about. Adding quantum state measurement is frosting the frosting and is very likely unnecessary.

> Could devices be constructed that use quantum telemetry on a cellular
> level? For example, could neurons be "bugged" so that each neuron
> has a unique i.d. and quantum transponder, so that nueral activity
> could be monitored from a far remote facility (on the moon or a
> distant planet)?

Here again the misconception of quantum teleportation as a mystical linkage between the two end stations seems to be rearing its head. You need a conventional measurement and a conventional communication system as a prerequisite for quantum teleportation. Probably nanotech would enable such a system of neural measurements, although I don't know what would be the best way to distinguish the signals as they emerged from the brain. Maybe chemical tags could be used, every neuron pumping state into the blood stream which would be picked up, organized, and transmitted by a special transmission organ/machine.

> Could such a "machine" be spliced into the DNA gene sequences that
> encode nerve cells?

I doubt it, but perhaps in the future people could have two parallel "genomes", one DNA based and one nanotech based. As the organism developed the nanotech system would activate and cause itself to be built into the organism. This way you could be born with nanotech improvements all through your body that would carry on to your offspring. With such a system you could probably arrange for your neurons to transmit their state in near real time.