Posts Tagged ‘wormhole’


November 23, 2010

Star Trek style teleportation

It’s called a lot of things besides teleportation: matter transmission, matter transporter, teleportion, beam up, beam down (Star Trek), body debit (Hitchhiker’s Guide) but they all amount to the same thing. An object disappears from one location and shows up at another. The most obvious problem with the Star Trek version there is no matter receiver. The object is assembled in thin air out of thin air. There is no conceivable way this can be accomplished outside of ESP.

IN 2003 the Air Force concluded a study done by Eric W Davis examining the theoretical possibility of teleportation. In particular, generating a flat faced wormhole (Stargate) using one of four schemes for generating the required negative energy. As in the FTL Drive case we are likely talking about needing energies of galactic proportions.

The usual Star Trek version would require 10**31 bytes of information to encode all the information for the reconstruction of one person. That would be ten trillion terabytes. Certainly shortcuts and various compression schemes will cut this down by an order of magnitude or more. It’s still enough 1″ thick terabyte disk drives to circle the Earth side-by-side 1000 times. And decomposing a human into a matter stream and sending them near the speed of light to a receiver? Forget about it! The real problem with this approach is the Heisenberg quantum uncertainty principle which shows that you can’t measure a number of complementary quantum properties simultaneously. The measuring device will substantially interfere with the measurements themselves.

Oddly, Eric does consider the possibility of an ESP matter transporter thinking that the documented experiments in this area in China and Russia might be valid. I have my doubts. Scientists are the easiest people in the world to fool and since money is usually involved many are inclined to fool themselves. Consider, that scientists generally deal with data from nature. Nature isn’t trying to fool anyone, having no intelligence she lays her data out there for all to see. People, however, have motives and those with motives to fool others are often successful. I’m not saying ESP events don’t exist but rather extraordinary precautions must be taken when testing for them. In particular, I believe any study of people who apparently show telekinetic abilities should have an accomplished magician on their staff. Uri Geller was unable to perform in the presence of Johnny Carson (an accomplished magician himself). Watch this video Sorry Eric, I think you are wasting your time trying to stretch QM to cover ESP. At least, not until we really see some controlled, repeatable experiments that are foolproof. As a result, I ignore this kind of teleportation in my stories.

There is another form of teleportation of ‘humans’ that I believe will be in every day use 100 years from now. Within the lifetime of some humans living now we will be able to capture the entire neural network of a human and emulate it in hardware. In other words humans who choose to will at first become virtual people then when android bodies are good enough they will be android people. Their entire mental being can then be transmitted to another location, even using todays technology, and be loaded into another android body and you are there. A complete mental state will likely take 15 petabytes but if that person is a frequent visitor to that location perhaps only an update will need to be sent. This will happen sooner than most people think and it will be, as Ray Kurtzweil put it, a singularity in intelligence and human evolution.

FTL Drive

November 21, 2010

A wormhole bypass

Are FTL (Faster Than Light) Drives possible? The short answer is yes but the long answer follows:

The amount of energy required is super-galactic in scale. It would take more energy that the entire energy output of a large galaxy to power such a contrivance which really makes FTL impractical. Another important detail is the craft itself cannot create its own space distortion like most Sci Fi depictions show. For this reason I don’t use FTL drives in my Sci Fi stories.

There was a Sci Fi author, I don’t remember his name, that stated a true Sci Fi story should never use more than one improbable device per story. A simple counter example is Star Trek which uses at least two in every episode; FTL drive and matter transporters. I’m not saying that matter transporters cannot exist but certainly not in the way used in Star Trek. I will discuss matter transporters (teleportation) in my next blog.

An important thing to keep in mind is FTL is possible for those on board the craft due to time dilation. If they are accelerating at a continuous one G they will reach the speed of light in one year according to their own on board clock. In two years, if they continue to accelerate at one G, they will reach two times the speed of light in two years and so on. This process must also be reversed on the latter half of the journey by merely flipping the ship and continuing to accelerate. An advantage is you would have artificial gravity but you would probably be in stasis anyway so it wouldn’t really matter. The ship would be controlled by an intelligent computer.

This is the method I chose for Tillian 5 – A New Beginning since the trip was going to take 65 Earth years to complete but only 5 years according to the onboard clock. I used a higher acceleration since the passengers, in stasis, could handle the higher acceleration. The intelligent computer system, Maggie, handled all the systems and emergency situations (except one).

If they would find Tillian 5 uninhabitable they would have to turn around and return to Earth. Considering that this journey would take another 65 years it would be 130 years since they left the planet and they would be a faint memory and perhaps only a legend. Even small children they knew would be long gone. This becomes important background for casting the mindset of those making the journey in this story and it plays and even more important role in Tillian 5 – Return to Earth the follow on volume, which is now available as well.

Now let’s suppose there is a super-galactic civilization out there somewhere that is perhaps a billion years ahead of us technologically with FTL drives. Do you think they would share that technology with us? Would we share our technology with sewer rats giving them jumper jets and cannons they can operate? I guess I have to take that one back since we did successfully train alley cats to use machine guns during WWII. Thankfully, the military officer in charge of this operation (a cat lover), when he found out, quickly killed the plan.