It is so much a copy that one could call it a clone of the original; in other words, it is a second original. If matter were to be thus transported, then we would have two of the original objects, should one be transported.
Alternative theories, based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, would be best followed up, if matter is the stuff which one wants to transport. The Heisenberg Principle states that it is impossible to know where any part of a physical object is at any point in time. Therefore, to know where every atom of our body is at any given time is impossible. If your blood is moving through your veins, then the atomic particles which make up your blood are moving rapidly from one part of your body to another and it is impossible to know at any particular moment where one of these atoms may be. Heisenberg also stated that measuring changes a particle (and this is one of the principles used in the quantum entanglement theory), therefore it is impossible to identify atoms which will be transported and have them duplicated at the other end of the receiver.
It is recommended that the quantum entanglement theory research be continued for the sake of its benefits in the area of communications and computer technology. But as for transportation of matter, it appears that destructive and attempted reconstructive transporting of matter is a dead end, as matter will be changed when subjected to the destructive forces of such means of transportation.
Furthermore, it is possible that other breakthroughs using other theories than quantum entanglement may be made and used for instantaneous transportation of matter. If questioning and research along these lines is continued the possibility of the discovery of another means by which matter may be transported through space may appear. The idea is put forth by the series 'Star Trek' and it excites the imaginations of generations of children. Perhaps one day one of those children will make the effort to think about, to devise and to create the means by which a true matter transporter will be built.
The original idea as created in the movies and on TV of transporters was not taken seriously by scientists, because they were thought it was impossible to do because the rules of quantum mechanics held an uncertainty principle which said the measuring or scanning process could not extract all of the information from an atom or any other object because the more completely the object is scanned, the more the order of the object is disturbed by scanning, until it finally reaches the point where the original state of the object's atoms has been completely disrupted without having extracted enough information to recreate it. This seemed a sound argument which ruled out teleportation. If a replicator could not extract enough information from the object to recreate it, a perfect copy could not be made. But IBM Fellow Charles Bennett and five of his cohorts, Drs. Jozsa, Wootters, Brassard, Crepeau and Peres, found a way to go around the standard logic, using a paradoxical theory used in quantum mechanics: the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Effect (See diagram above from Bennett, 1896).
Essentially, these scientists discovered that they could scan part of the information from object a, while making the rest, the unscanned part of the information, to go through the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Effect, into object C. Object C. had never been in contact with a. Then, when they applied a treatment to Object C. which depended on the scan of a, were able to make C. into the exact same state as a before scanning. a, itself, was no longer in its original state, having been disrupted by the scan. In essence, what was achieved was teleportation, not copying or replication of the original object (About, 1). This is the technology which has been used to create actual teleportation of information, and though teleportation of solid matter objects has not yet been achieved, it may yet be accomplished.
What is going to change because of it?
Not only the transportation of data or matter may be affected by research into the field of teleportation, but computers will be transformed as well. Quantum computing is a field which is developing through research today. Our home computers are powered by processors made up of transistors carrying electrical current. The information stored in these computers is measured in bytes, which are valued either 1 or 0. Quantum computing measurements are in qubits and are stored using the properties of individual atoms. These properties can be used for structuring and storing data. They rely on the entanglement theory and superimposition for reading and writing data. Qubits represented by the ways which carbon atoms spin are used in nuclear magnetic resonance (a method by which the structure of molecules is elucidated) and are just one of the measurements available (Thinkquest).
Measuring a qubit and communicating the measurements to a receiver, which then prepares the qubit available to the specifications communicated is a process called "classical teleportation." In Canberra, Australia in 2002, Australian scientists said they had teleported a laser beam encoded with data, broke it up and reconstructed the exact replica a yard away, reconstructing an experiment done at California Institute of Technology in 1998, but claiming theirs is more reliable.
Although they likened it to the Star Trek transporter, the main purpose of the Canberra Teleporter is to encrypt information for a new generation of super-fast computers. Ping Koy Lam and 12 of his cohorts destroyed a laser light beam, measured the destroyed beam, took the results to the other side of the lab and created an exact copy at the receiving end from billions of photons. This process took a nanosecond (one billionth of one second), Ping Toy Lam predicted that this process would soon be used for teleporting matter "within the next three to five years, that is the teleportation of a single atom or a small group of atoms" (O'Connor, 1).
Should a transporter be built, as Sternbach and Okuda have designed it, which could transport matter, to be able to dematerialize objects and rematerialize them elsewhere (Okuda, 1991), this, of course, would be a major breakthrough in the transportation of material objects. The ability to transport matter through light would have as much effect on the world of transporting materials over space as the microwave had on cooking; that is, the teleporter would change the world of transportation forever in significant ways. Speed (nanoseconds) and efficiency (no cost for physical hauling) would be the byword, rather than simply reliability, though reliability would remain important.
Where Is it Going?
The Transporter technology appears at this time to be headed in the direction of computer technology and towards communications and cryptography. Cryptography depends on mathematics and formulas to encode data so no one else but those who have the formula can read it. Quantum cryptography, however, can devise a code based on quantum entanglement, transmitting data based on the properties of atoms and the way or formulas by it is read is what may be changed. For instance, an atom spinning at 300 rps may be the code for the letter "A," and 301 rps may be "B" but by changing the spin speed to letter correlation the message may be encoded differently, so that 301 rps might mean "H" instead of "B." The number of possible changes is unlimited in this code and spin speed is only one way that the property of the atoms can change. The system is safe from scrutiny, as well, because the process of eavesdropping is quickly and easily detected (Thinkquest 2008).
As far as actual transporting of matter is concerned, it appears that research, unless an unexpected breakthrough appears, is marching on slowly, step-by-step, toward transporting information only. But even this is miraculous in some ways, as the properties of photons are being discovered and utilized in practical ways.
What Will it Disrupt?
The ability to transport physical matter would have a dynamic effect on the world of transportation. No longer would the trucking industry command the highways. No longer would the post office be used and paid to transport packages. No longer would we need to carry objects around with us from place to place. Our teleporter would do the job for us. Groceries would miraculously appear on the kitchen cabinet, our clothes would be found hanging in the closet after they have been dry cleaned. Our money would be sent in cash to our creditors. There are extremely disruptive possibilities inherent in the creation of a teleporter for material stuff.
Teleporters could even be used as weapons, some say, as one might put a bullet or a bomb in one and have it sent to a target, or…