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Q: What is quantum teleportation? Why can’t we use it to communicate faster than light?
Physicist: Contrary to its exciting name, quantum teleportation doesn’t involve any physical stuff suddenly disappearing and then reappearing somewhere else. Instead it’s a cute, clever, technique for transferring an unknown quantum state of one system (usually a single particle) to another, specially prepared, system. Before even getting into quantum teleportation, I’ll describe how to do “classical teleportation”, and you can judge whether “teleport” is even the appropriate word. This is the big limitation of teleportation and why it isn’t faster than light; you have to communicate the results of the measurement, and that communication is through ordinary, not-faster-than-light channels. Quantum teleportation has the same limitations and works very similarly.
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