8 thoughts on “They’re Not Transporters”

  1. I remember James Blish exploring this concept (through McCoy, naturally) in his Spock Must Die! novel.

  2. What I’ve never seen addressed is how you contain the energy released by converting 180 pound man to 3.5136 gigatons of energy because that is really going to make a mess in the transporter room.

    1. Converting approximately 50 grams of matter to pure energy releases one megaton (one million tons of TNT equivalent). So, converting 100 kg (everyone is getting heavier) releases 2000 megatons (one gigaton), which is more than the entire US nuclear arsenal going off at once. You’d better have a damned good containment system. Now, remember ST IV (the one with the whales) where Scotty beamed two whales and a lot of water (with no air for them to breath)? You’d seriously trust Klingon technology to do that without exploding? I don’t think so.

      Also, when you reassemble or recreate the person at the other end (without benefit of equipment at the distant location in most cases), among other things, you have to get all the 100 billion neurons and billions of synaptic connections correct or you’ve just wiped out the person’s brain. McCoy was right!

  3. I have always found the transporter to be the most far fetched Star Trek technology. It seems to me that if one had the technical ability to disassemble and reassemble the human body down to the subatomic level that there would be no illness, disease or even injury that could not be healed by that same technology. Just run someone through the transporter and either reassemble in the correct manner to correct injuries (with a bit of replicator tech thrown in to replace any missing parts) or filter out unwanted / diseased cells, tissues etc during the process. But then there would not be a need for a ships doctor, ruining many ST story lines.

  4. Ctrot – You’re quite right. And there is at least one episode in the Next Generation series in which precisely that use of the transporter (fixing the damage of aging) is a fix for some problem or other. It does rely on a complete body scan, at atomic level, being on file. And, of course, being ST, it’s never used again and there are no changes in society because of it.

  5. In the most plausible description I’ve seen the transporter doesn’t tear you apart at the atomic level. Instead it puts you in a strange quantum state where you are both here and a little bit there at the same time, gradually shifting the quantum state until you are all there and not here. Footage in the Star Trek movies of people talking as they’re transported out seems to support this model.

    Transport suspension would require another quantum state where an object is neither here nor there, but frozen, somewhere. Or somewhen between then and now?

    As an extreme case, there was a TNG episode where unusual circumstances allowed people to be suspended in transport for an extended period, and security personal had to beam in to grab the people before they could be returned to normal state.

  6. Cells are constantly dying and being replaced in a living body. Doesn’t that mean we transport ourselves into the future? Are we past copies of future selves?

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