How to Teleport

Some mechanism for a teleporter.

  • Digitise-store-transmit-store-reconstitute. Teleporters in this case are fax machines. The thing to teleport is digitised (destructively so there isn’t a copy), stored in the ‘buffer’ transmitted as energy, and reconstituted at the other end. Philosophically interesting and great for thought experiments.
  • Transformed-transmitted-transformed. Like the first example but more analog. The matter you are made from can (somehow) change states without losing information. The teleported thing transforms states into energy, is transmitted and then collapses back into its normal state. It’s basically very similar to the first but with a sense that the photons (or whatever) are still you are your stuff, so there is an on-going continuity. Energy beings can do this naturally.
  • Transport only your consciousness, transmit into clone or robot bodies somewhere else. Obviously has a potential duplication issue. Seems a lot like demonic possession the more you think about it.
  • Quantum tunnelling. Fundamental particles can do this so why can’t you? There’s a chance that you might be somewhere else and so sometimes you are somewhere else. Requires messing with the fundamentals of probability.
  • A wormhole/portal. You physically move but through a piece of space that is a shortcut. The implication is that places in space ae all physically closer than they appear.
  • Up into one dimension, travel a bit, then back down again. Similar to wormhole but instead of going through you go out and back in again. There’s a similar view of space as there is with the wormhole but the method is conceptually different. Think of the wormhole as finding a secret passage between two rooms in a house and think of the dimensions as jumping out of a window in one room so you are outside of the house, walking around the house and then jumping back in through a different window.
  • Force two different points in space together for an instant and then move slightly and then the two bits of space snap back (taking you with them). I know this sounds like the wormhole but it is different. With the wormhole the two points stay where they are and a route is created that somehow connects them.
  • Hack reality and rewrite your coordinates in the operating system of the universe. Works best in a virtual reality.
  • Stay still and move the universe (how space travel works in Futurama).
  • Time Travel. For you this does not act like teleportation but for an observe, you can disappear from one place and reappear somewhere else.
  • Travel really quickly, Again, not really teleporting but this could look like teleporting to an observer.
  • Have a twin sibling who appears when you hide (spoiler for some movie or other). Again not teleportation but you can convince a rival that it is.
  • For a brief moment, be everywhere and then limit yourself to one place again.
  • On that same theme but more specifically, be the universe and your physical body is just a tiny manifestation of yourself. Reabsorb that manifestation and instantiate it somewhere else.

That’s all I’ve got. I like the one where you move into a higher dimension and then re-enter the world somewhere else.

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29 comments

  1. Kathodus

    Reading that first one and seeing the term “digitize,” I had a gross thought: if the Star Trek style teleportation/beaming thing ever became a thing, the company that developed it would probably then own the rights to your entire self through whatever shady agreement you have to click on to use the teleporter.

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    • camestrosfelapton

      On reflection, that would make two of you. It would need to be ‘step into an alternate reality in a different place, where everything is the same except your existence.’

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      • Unclever title

        Problematic on a few levels (probably more).
        1st: If you don’t return to the reality you left then you’ve left your home universe forever and your friends and family have to deal with your sudden disappearance (unless another you takes your place).
        2nd: Relies on the existence of nonsensical realities. Realities where you don’t exist when logically you should. If everything is the same with the exclusion of your existence, how long have you not existed in that reality? Your entire life? Then your friends and family don’t know you. In the very instant of teleportation? How did the “you” in that reality disappear? Just randomly (pretty nonsensical)? If the reality isn’t nonsensical then it’s going to have many more differences than just lacking your existence.
        3rd: Perhaps the teleportation process destroyed the you in the destination reality thus ensuring you don’t already exist there.Then this ends up being a similar teleportation suicide problem except the suicide isn’t voluntary and it isn’t your own. Either way one reality has lost you forever, either your native one (assuming you don’t return), or your destination one (assuming you do return).

        Altogether it can make for some good sci-fi.

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  2. Jack Lint

    Act of God(s)?

    My grandfather and his brother were twins and they actually did the magic trick (at least) once at a carnival. Tesla and loss of fingers were not involved.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Mighty Routemaster

    I remember reading a Larry Niven essay about the problems of teleportation, chiefly those caused by conservation laws, iirc, about 30 years ago. Annoyingly, I can’t remember the title of the essay or the collection if you want to dig it out.

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    • Stewart

      The title is “The Theory and Practice of Teleportation”, and it’s in (perhaps inter alia) “All The Myriad Ways”. The next entry in the book is “The Theory and Practice of Time Travel”.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. angharad

    The quantum tunneling approach need not violate the laws of probabilty. What you really need is to get quantum coherence (the ability of objects to act like a quantum thing ie as if they have the properties of both a wave and a solid object) to work for objects the size of a human. Last I heard, we had managed it for objects the size of a Bucky ball (ie a fairly large molecule), so we’re a way off yet. Of course, quantum effects are random, so if you did manage to achieve coherence then you would occasionally spontaneously teleport to some other random location. Not terribly useful.

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      • Jenora Feuer

        Well, Doctor Who did have a randomiser on the TARDIS. (I think actually canonically installed at the end of ‘The Key To Time’? On the theory that if even the Doctor doesn’t know where he’s going next, nobody else will be able to either. Great for when you have a cosmic manifestation angry at you.)

        Of course, coherence works best at low temperatures, thanks to the Uncertainty Principle: the lower the temperature, the smaller the range of possible momentum for any particle, and thus the higher the possible uncertainty in the position. Absolute zero would mean you could be anywhere. According to the Wikipedia page on Bose-Einstein Condensates, we’ve managed to get down to nanokelvins.

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      • Bonnie McDaniel

        Well, unless you spontaneously teleported to a) the bottom of the ocean; b) the top of Mount Everest; c) the middle of a volcano; or some other place incompatible with life. 😦

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  6. KasaObake

    The first two remind me slightly of the matter transmission in Rogue Moon – you’re copied to a tape (because it’s oldschool) and your data is transmitted to both the moon and a sensory deprivation chamber on earth (or you’re in sensory deprivation already and it only makes the one copy? Been a while since I read it – either way, it violates the T&Cs of Tel-E-Port-U) and your two bodies have something like a telepathic connection between them so that somebody can try to solve the death maze and retain the memories of how far they got and try again. Fun story, shows its age in a few ways though.

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    • kiptw

      Rogue Moon is one of my particular favorites, and I’ve read it recently enough to offer a small correction. I don’t think there is any psychic bond. Each new iteration is able to proceed further in the lethal maze mostly by seeing where the last one got killed. The original isn’t involved in any of it except sitting for copies, and I don’t remember if they worked from the original tape each time or if he had to be available for all of them.

      In my canon, this predicts most video games of the sort where you die and get a new life.

      Liked by 2 people

      • KasaObake

        Entirely possible that I’m conflating events in Rogue Moon with a similar story 🙂

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  7. Regular Commenter

    I don’t think there is anything particularly original about what I am going to say, but I often feel transcombobulated like that when I travel (or even take a close look at the world I regularly inhabit).

    I’m currently in Mexico City, a place I love beyond measure. And yet, when I’m in the metro and it’s 105 degrees and I see people whose job it is to sit in a 3×2 metal box making hot food in a tunnel all day — minimum wage here is 90 pesos/day ($4.75) — or any number of people on the street selling lighters, or selfie sticks or doing acrobatics at intersections for loose change, I realize how differently we experience the city. These people work HARD. It’s weird and uncomfortable to have so much more in terms of resources, options, healthy, security and freedom of mobility than nearly everyone I meet in this time-space. I am so, so lucky to have popped into the world where and among whom I did.

    Yesterday I was walking down a ransom street and I heard the Spiderman theme blaring in mariachi style . Ah, Mexico ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • KasaObake

      I have similar feelings whenever I’m in Chiang Mai – a city I love dearly and feels like a second home to me. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m lucky to be living life on easy mode. Has its challenges still but I can’t deny that I’m in an incredibly privileged position compared to most people.

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