[ExI] Does the Star Trek transporter kill people?

Gabe Waggoner lostmyelectron at protonmail.com
Fri Oct 29 13:22:16 UTC 2021

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Friday, October 29th, 2021 at 9:54 AM, BillK via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 29 Oct 2021 at 01:50, spike jones via extropy-chat
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org wrote:
> > > ... Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat
> > > Subject: Re: [ExI] Does the Star Trek transporter kill people?
> > > ...The answer is No.
> > > ...
> > > Ben

> > Cool so if Kirk beams down with a big steaming pizza in his hand, it isn't
> > considered wasting food.
> > spike
> The transporter must be copying everything inside the transport
> cylinder shape, right down to the elementary level of energies and
> position of sub-atomic particles like quarks, leptons and bosons.
> i.e. not just living matter, otherwise no objects like clothes,
> weapons, etc. could be transported. This must include the surrounding
> air molecules, viruses, insects, etc. The transporter must also be
> able to clear and push aside the contents of a receiving cylinder area
> at the destination point.

> Hopefully not inside a T-rex or just in front of a bulldozer.
> All in all, it's a neat trick, if it can ever be possible.
> If the copying can be done without destroying the original, then the
> transporter becomes a factory 3D printer creating unlimited copies of
> anything. This seems to me to be unlikely, as the inventor could fill
> the world with copies of him/herself. Not a problem for Spike, of
> course, but I can see how some people would consider this to be a
> problem. :)
> A scanner with this level of detail must also be able to be used for
> medical purposes. Removing cancer cells, tumors, cosmetic blemishes,
> etc. Probably the first use, before transportation.
> BillK

This question has always fascinated me, too. I hadn't known that this issue had been discussed in this forum long before I ever joined.

I remember from some _Star Trek_ novel that a character had the same question. He said something like "All you get is a copy that thinks it's the original." Some random crew member explained that it wasn't copying but rather a physical tunneling of particles through subspace from one location to another.

Either way, Krauss's _The Physics of Star Trek_ pretty much convinced me that transporters will be forever fictional, however cool they are conceptually.

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