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As any sci fi fan will tell you, teleportation ranks high on the geek’s list of hotly desired future tech. Roddenberryesque utopian visions of society aside, this may be the single greatest legacy the whole Star Trek franchise left us with — a lusty yet agonizingly unfulfilled desire to transfer our molecules across space.

Imagine it: No traffic, no commute time, no hours-long flights or airport patdowns. That’s the dream. A fuzzy, unrealized, out-of-reach dream… or is it?

According to Discovery News, scientists in Australia and Japan have managed to successfully teleport light. The team led by University of Tokyo researchers destroyed wave packets of light, then using their complex quantum information, recreated the exact same ones in a different area. This is the first teleportation of its kind that resulted in a successful transfer from one point to another.

Ultimately, the research is intended to make “high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via communications networks” possible. As a technology, this feat could lead to the evolution of incredibly fast quantum computing or communications devices.

But the big “what if” scenario involves the further advancement of this technology. Someday, could we teleport more tangible objects across the globe? And further down the line, could we even beam ourselves? If the distances that separate us become non issues, would we turn into a more caring global society, as the fictional dreamworld of Star Trek suggests? Or would it be a nightmare, as we discover new and creative ways of waging war? (Where’s Michio Kaku when you need him, to place this all in context for us?)

I want to know what you think. Are you amazed and excited by the prospect of teleportation? Or do you believe that there are some laws humans just shouldn’t mess with?

[via PopGadget, source Discovery News]