Star Trek-style teleportation 'could become a reality'

Teleportation, the much-beloved mode of transport in science fiction, could become science fact in the far future, the leader of a landmark experiment has said.

Professor Ronald Hanson said nothing in the laws of physics fundamentally forbids the notion of Star Trek-style "beaming up" of large objects - even humans.

"What we are teleporting is the state of a particle," Prof Hanson, from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, said.

"If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another."

However he added, "In practice it's extremely unlikely, but to say it can never work is very dangerous."