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Teleportation

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Deanna Witmer
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« on: October 19, 2010, 01:21:47 pm »

Teleportation

Teleportation' is the transfer of matter from one point to another, more or less instantaneously. Teleportation has been widely utilized in works of science fiction and fantasy.

The word "teleportation" was coined in 1931[1][2] by American writer Charles Fort to describe the strange disappearances and appearances of anomalies, which he suggested may be connected. He joined the Greek prefix tele- (meaning "distant") to the Latin verb portare (meaning "to carry"). Fort's first formal use of the word was in the second chapter of his 1931 book, Lo! "Mostly in this book I shall specialize upon indications that there exists a transportory force that I shall call Teleportation." Though Fort added, "I shall be accused of having assembled lies, yarns, hoaxes, and superstitions. To some degree I think so myself. To some degree, I do not. I offer the data."[3] Fort suggested that teleportation might explain various allegedly paranormal phenomena, although it is difficult to say if Fort took his own "theory" seriously, or instead used it to point out what he saw as the inadequacy of mainstream science to account for strange phenomena.

The word "teletransportation" (which simply expands Charles Fort's abbreviated term) was first employed by Derek Parfit as part of a thought exercise on identity.

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Deanna Witmer
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 01:22:09 pm »

Dematerialising
One means of teleportation proposed in fiction (e.g., The Fly, Heroes, Star Trek) is the transmission of data which is used to precisely reconstruct an object or organism at its destination. However, to travel from one point to another instantaneously (faster than light travel) is, as of today, believed to be impossible. The use of this form of teleportation as a means of transport for humans would have considerable unresolved technical issues, such as recording the human body with sufficient accuracy to allow reproduction elsewhere (i.e., because of the uncertainty principle). There's also the philosophical issue of whether destroying a human in one place and recreating a copy elsewhere would provide a sufficient experience of existential continuity. The reassembled human might be considered a different sentience with the same memories as the original, while the original human would have ceased to exist. Furthermore, if several copies were constructed using merely descriptive data, but not matter, transmitted from the origin and new matter already at the destination point, each would consider itself to be the true continuation of the original; moreover, because each copy constructed via this data-only method would be made of new matter that already existed at the destination, there would be no way, even in principle, of distinguishing the original from the copies. Many of the relevant questions are shared with the concept of mind transfer.

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Deanna Witmer
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 01:22:19 pm »

Dimensional teleportation
Dimensional teleportation is another proposed means of teleportation. Often shown in fictional works, particularly in fantasy and comic books (e.g., the X-Men characters Nightcrawler, Deadpool; the planeswalkers of Magic: The Gathering; Arilou and Orz species in the Star-control universe), it involves the subject exiting one physical universe or plane of existence, then re-entering it at a different location. This method is rarely seriously considered by the scientific community, as the currently predominant theories about parallel universes assume that physical travel is not possible between them, except, perhaps, constantly.
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Deanna Witmer
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 01:22:40 pm »

Wormhole

A wormhole is a hypothetical shortcut through space and time, which allows transit faster than light, while avoiding the problems posed by the uncertainty principle and potential signal interference. Its mechanism is also used in theories about time travel. This kind of topological shortcut would eliminate many probable objections to teleportation on religious or philosophical grounds, as they preserve the original subject intact—and thus continuity of existence.
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