Star Trek: The Strange Rules of Transporter Immortality


One of the things that “Star Trek” does best is to create a vast universe that is absolutely filled with information, knowledge and culture, and at the forefront of this is both a highly developed socio-political infrastructure created since the series first appeared on TV screens, and quite realistic. fictional technology. This technology, despite the fact that some aspects of it are achievable today, is the highest science fiction. These are fantasies of the distant future, but this does not mean that they are not based on real science.

Things like universal translators are based on (albeit rather primitive) real linguistic theories of identifying key signatures. Others, less well-founded, such as the warp drive, at least correspond to the fictional scientific structure presented in the series (at least before Discovery aired). However, transport equipment is quite another. The science behind this piece of technology sometimes collapses under its own weight due to conflicting information provided over the years. In fact, if you follow some principles of canonical logic, immortality may even be possible.

Transporters work by turning a person into an energy pattern, destroying him atom by atom in a process called dematerialization, and then sending this pattern to another place (“radiating” them), where they then turn back into matter in a process called dematerialization. rematerialization. It’s like a Lego set that is disassembled into separate parts, sent in a box to another place, and then reassembled there, but at the level of quantum theory. Studying the real world, since quantum theory is behind the process, a quantum particle can move from point A to point B without crossing the intermediate space, but the particle is not disassembled and destroyed for this, since it is small enough to work at the quantum level. Following this theory down to transporters, people are much bigger and don’t work at the quantum level. Thus, they need to be broken down into sufficiently small particles, and then somehow reliably “transported” to point B, and then assembled back.

What is interesting about the immortal side of things is that in the process of transporting said person to another place, his energy sample (which basically represents everything he is, physically and mentally) is stored in the template buffer. This is where a lot of misconceptions arise, as well as a large amount of contradictory information presented to viewers through the show. This template buffer is not or should not be a battery. The energy pattern is so complex that it is impossible to copy it, even converting it into a somewhat digital format. That’s right: teleportation in “Star Trek” is considered something like an analog technology. It is not possible to store all this information for a long period of time or to keep a copy of it after the completion of the mentioned teleportation.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule when the franchise violates its own logic. For example, Scotty was stored in the template buffer for 75 years. Riker has a duplicate created as a result of a transporter accident, as does Boimler from the “Lower Decks” (regardless of whether this should be considered canon or not).

A lot of philosophical thoughts have been invested in transport technologies, because there is a big question whether the process of disassembling a living organism is the same as killing it. Some suggest that if a transporter breaks a person into pieces, then that particular person is dead, and the newly assembled person is just a copy (creating parallels with the popular horror video game SOMA). The argument largely revolves around the idea of a person’s soul and whether they are real. Will the transporter that targets and dematerializes only tangible matter also carry the soul, or will it leave it behind? Is the recreated being just an empty shell, devoid of consciousness? However, the creators of Star Trek were mostly humanists, so the idea of a soul or intangible/ethereal elements that help shape consciousness or being was most likely not taken into account in the equation of technology.

Thus, the removal of the soul element creates a very great opportunity to achieve immortality with the help of this quantum manipulating device. The Riker and Boimler clones were accidents, transporter malfunctions, but they show that it is actually possible to recreate everything that makes up a person by duplicating even his memories and emotions into another fully functioning and living organism. Although it was an accident, of course, since it’s possible, why couldn’t it have been recreated in a more controlled way?

If the only problem is the lack of energy needed to store a person’s energy template, converting it from analog to digital, then, of course, it’s only a matter of time before the Federation will have such power.


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