Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Writing - Beam me up Scotty

How many times have you been stuck somewhere, a traffic jam or a frustrating queue and have muttered the line 'beam me up Scotty' from Star Trek? Well scientists have taken a step towards realising that possibility.

Image result for beam me up scotty meme

The question is which came first, the Star Trek technology or the real life development? Read on.

Physicists have set a record for quantum teleportation: moving information from one place to another without physically sending anything between the locations.
Two separate teams managed to teleport information across several kilometres of optical fibre network in two cities.
This form of teleportation differs from that depicted in Star Trek: it involves transferring quantum states of a light particle, not Starfleet officers.
But the method offers huge promise.
Teleportation over long distances is an important step towards the ultra-secure communications promised by quantum cryptography. 

Image result for entanglement

I love the term that describes how a photon particle is transported - entanglement. It could have been coined by a writer but it doesn't end there, because to boost the amount that can be transported repeaters can be used.

So what has this to do with being a writer? 

Well whether or not we write within the SF genre or current times it is relevant to keep up-to-date. Perhaps it is less relevant than writing historical works but then having written a short story set at the end of the 19th century it was important to bedeck the literary set with the correct artefacts.

Image result for stage sets
Stage setting

When a team come together to put on a piece on stage they have to create the scene in which the story is set. If they don't do this with care and relevance to the story line then there will be a clash in the minds of the audience that could turn them off the story. As writers we are in the position where we create the scenery as we are writing. The quality of that setting really depends upon how much attention we give it. As in many situations you can have too much of a good thing but there has to be something there, a framework, on which readers can hang the details of the story.

Image result for stage set A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol

I know that in some works a deliberate clash may be constructed but that has to be managed carefully. On the other hand a minimalist set puts the onus on the performers or characters to carry the story. Once again the right balance needs to be found to deliver the story.

So we might consider how teleportation may evolve in the world once the scientists have gone beyond transporting fractions of atoms to more solid objects. 

Will they begin with fixed points, rather like the post offices used to be, so that you can send stuff to other parts of the country then the world? 

Will there be mistakes where things arrive at their destination broken or destroyed?

Will objects appear in the wrong place causing mayhem for the recipients and consternation for the intended target?

How soon will people be able to move using teleportation?

There are always a plethora of possibilities for writers when new technology is developed and that is part of the enjoyment of writing. It is constantly changing and developing.

Building 7

Here is the news! Yesterday I finished the fiction part of the novel. There is the factual appendix to complete and then the editing to do including creating a cover which I have had one or two ideas about.

God Bless