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The Terrible Truth About Star Trek's Transporters

In 1966, the idea of a transporter, the way Star Trek characters beamed down to various planets, was amazing. The explanation was that the device disassembled all the atoms of one's body, converted them to energy, zapped that energy to a destination, and then re-assembled them in precise order. And the person traveling didn't even lose consciousness! We later learned that the special effect was invented because it was so much cheaper and faster than sending people off in a shuttle. But how plausible is the concept, anyway?

A team of fourth-year physics students at the University of Leicester crunched the numbers on how long it would take to transmit the necessary information to build a person, and the news isn't good. They even took a shortcut.

Instead of capturing all of the information down to the atomic level, they suggested transmitting just the DNA information of a person, along with a brain state. If you had that information, you could presumably clone a person and then implant them with the mental state of their previous self. It's not exactly teleportation, but it gets the job done.

Only, even that fraction of what makes up a person comes in at 2.6 tredecillion bits. Which is, in scientific vernacular, several boatloads.

The estimated time to transmit, using the standard 30 GHz microwave band used by communications satellites, would take 350,000 times longer than the age of the universe.

That's only the actual transit time. The hard part would be putting all that information back together in the same order. Just ask Seth Brundle. Read more about the real-world aspects of Star Trek's transporter at SyFy Wire. -via Real Clear Science


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And the original body that had its DNA and all its brain power removed to be transported? Jeez, the number of bodies that would have to be disposed of. Every time you transported to another city or country or planet there's another clone and another body.
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Well if the ship can run longer without needing to dock to get food that is one bonus
But they would need to beam the people back up right? So it's better if they just treat their planet-clones as disposable objects so you wouldn't need to get back on the ship just leave your clone on the planet to start a family
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