At a physics meeting in Seattle in March 1993, Charles Bennett of IBM thrilled science fiction fans everywhere by revealing the theory of quantum teleportation.
Bennett described how quantum experimentalists Alice and Bob could use quantum entanglement to erase the identity of a quantum particle at one location and restore it at a remote location – just like Captain Kirk disappearing in the Enterprise transporter and reappearing on some dangerous alien planet.
Alice and Bob must each possess one of a pair of entangled quantum particles. If Alice wants to teleport a quantum particle to Bob, she must let it interact with her entangled particle and send the result to Bob by e-mail.
Born in Königsberg, Prussia, on December 5, 1868, Arnold Sommerfeld played a major role in advancing early quantum theory in the years after Niels Bohr introduced the quantum version of the hydrogen atom.
Sommerfeld showed how to extend quantum ideas from circular to elliptical electron orbits, making him kind of like a Kepler to Bohr’s Copernicus.
Among physicists, he was most highly regarded for his original approach to quantum mechanics and formulation of quantum field theory.