Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Transporter Problem

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

One of the technlogies used by the crew of Star Trek that contributed to the success of the series, was the "transporter" (teleporter).  You may remember the catchphrase "Beam me up Scotty."  Here is a dramatic fragment (1m 16s) in the nick of time. Dr. McCoy expresses his usual doubts and fears about the entire technology. He served as the chief transporter-phobe in the series.

So are such devices possible and if so how might they work? Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder considers the transporter problem in this video (10m 49s). One of the questions is whether Captain Kirk dies when he, or anyone, goes through the process?

Hossenfelder points out that "philosophers by the way are evenly divided between the possible answers to the question. In a survey, about a third voted for “death” another third for “survival” and yet another third for “other”. What do you think? And did this video change your mind?


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