Document title: Lecture Transcript – Transporters Originally published: 1 July 2005, www.sasfa.

org/dauntless Based upon: Lecture of the same title given by CMDR Owen Swart (Chief Science Officer, USS Dauntless) at the Science Fiction South Africa Star Trek Minicon 2005, held at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

"Transporting really is the safest way to travel" - LCDR Geordi LaForge Before I start, I would just like to expose a commonly held misconception relating to the Transporter. That is the quote erroneously attributed to CAPT James T. Kirk: "Beam me up Scotty". In fact, at no time in any Star Trek episode or feature film, does Kirk utter this phrase. He did often instruct Scotty to beam him up, but he never once said it like this. Right, let's move on. The first question one needs to ask when examining any technology is as to its purpose. Why have a Transporter? Well, the first and most important reason is speed. A shuttlecraft could take up to half an hour to launch and land on a planet, and possibly longer to get back to the mothership. A transporter can accomplish the same in seconds. The second reason is cost. Specifically when it comes to energy cost. The power required to run a shuttlecraft for up to an hour (round-trip) is relatively small compared to that required to operate a Starship, but it's somewhat more than that required to power a Transporter for a few seconds. When you're on a deep-space mission, you can't always predict when next you'll be able to top up on fuel or replenish your supplies. So everything needs to be conserved and recycled as much as possible. Wasting energy on a shuttlecraft when

a Transporter can do the same for a fraction of the cost just isn't feasible. The third reason is safety. Although the principle of how the Transporter works is arguably an inherently an unsafe procedure, in the Star Trek universe it is regarded statistically as the safest way to travel. Shuttlecraft have a tendency to crash or get shot down... but a Transporter beam is quick and simple. Another safety reason is the safety protocols built into the Transporter. Weapons and potentially harmful contaminants are analyzed by the Transporter's computer and can be eliminated or deactivated during transport. The fourth reason is its usefulness in emergency situations. This relates back to the speed of it. If you have an away team on a planet and they run into trouble, you can either retrieve the team, or have a second support team on site in a matter of seconds. Alternatively you could evacuate the crew of a damaged ship relatively quickly without having to shuttle them across in small groups. Another reason would be covert assignments. It's easier to sneak personnel into places if there's no shuttle that has to land anywhere. Other than the obvious military applications of this, it can also be used to extract and deliver personnel from hidden observation posts like those used on Mintaka III or Bak'u. Allowing a pre-warp civilization to see a shuttle taking off and landing would most definitely cause contamination. Suffice to say duck-blind anthropological missions of this nature would be virtually impossible without Transporters. But the real reason for the transporter is a little more mundane. When Gene Roddenberry was creating the original series, they didn't have the budget to produce expensive landing and take-off sequences in every episode, so they needed to devise a machine that could get the crew to and from a planet's surface instantly. An extra room on the set and a little glitter sprinkled in front of the camera and voila: the Transporter was born.

Next I'm going to take a look at the development of the Transporter in the Star Trek universe. The Transporter was invented by a man named Emory Ericsson in the early twenty second century. Ericsson worked with Starfleet engineers like Zephram Cochrane and Henry Archer. But unlike them, Ericsson believed that the future of space-travel lay not in the Warp Engine, but in the Transporter Pad. His vision was that you could step onto a Transporter Pad on Earth, and seconds later rematerialize on Vulcan, or any other planet in the galaxy. He believed that this means of travel would make Starships obsolete. Unfortunately his original theory was fundamentally flawed. But despite that, the technology he developed made a significant contribution to deep space travel. Only decades later, Transporters became standard equipment on all Starfleet deep-space vessels and planetary installations. When the Transporter first came into common use, it was only for transport of nonorganic cargo, as its safety was uncertain. But as the technology was improved, it was eventually approved for bio-matter transport. The first Starfleet installation to be equipped with one of these ‘people friendly' Transporters was the Starship Enterprise NX-01. In the twenty second century this was a large and bulky piece of equipment, and wasn't yet regarded as the primary personnel transport medium. It was used primarily for transporting cargo and emergency situations. Because of its size and infrequent use, the NX-01 was only equipped with one of these devices. The NX-01's Transporter was quite small and primitive in relation to later models. It was designed with one large pad, and had a range of around 10 000 kilometers. We know little about the ships of the late twenty second and early twenty third

centuries, but we're intimately familiar with a mid twenty third century vessel, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701. Although she, and other Constitution class vessels, were still only equipped with one Transporter room, it had replaced the shuttlecraft as the primary personnel transport medium. As a result, the Transporter was redesigned to accommodate more people, and boasted six small pads. The range of the 1701's Transporter is 40 000 kilometers. A distance that was never exceeded using Starfleet's standard Transporter technology. We then skip forward in time again a couple of decades and look at the 1701's immediate successor: the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A. Although still a Constitution class Starship, the Enterprise A has been refitted with Starfleet's latest technology, which includes a Transporter upgrade. Despite looking quite different, the Enterprise A's transporter includes a seventh, larger pad in the center of the Transporter which is usually designated specifically for cargo transport. Although people are able to use it as well, should the need arise. We skip forward about 80 years to the Galaxy Class USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. In this time, Starfleet technology has received a tremendous boost from the invention of Isolinear circuitry, which has revolutionized Starfleet's computer technology. This had the knock-on affect of allowing principles of Transporter technology to be used for new applications, but I'll go into more detail about that later. Although the Transporter Pad of the Enterprise D looks identical to that of the Enterprise A (in fact, they used the same set), the technology behind it has advanced considerably. One important difference is that the Enterprise D is equipped with four redundant Transporter rooms. Also, each of the five cargo bays is fitted with its own dedicated cargo Transporter pad.

In the mid to late 24th century, the Galaxy Class represents the pride and joy of Starfleet... the largest vessel constructed to date. But Starfleet had many other smaller vessels in service at that time. One example of these is the Intrepid class USS Voyager NCC-74656. The Voyager was equipped with two redundant Transporter rooms very similar to those aboard the Enterprise D, as well as three cargo transporters. But Starfleet used even smaller vessels, such as the prototype USS Defiant NX74205. Since the Defiant is many times smaller than her Galaxy class cousins, it was a challenge to incorporate a full-sized Transporter into her systems. But since the Defiant was designed primarily as a warship (the Federation's first) and not an exploration vessel, it was decided that she would be less likely to need to beam personnel around. As a result, the Defiant was equipped with a scaled down version of the Transporter, capable of transporting only three humanoids at the same time. She was equipped with two of these, and one cargo Transporter. But there are smaller Starships still... A runabout (such as the Danube class) is a miniature Starship, not much larger than a shuttlecraft. In fact, some larger ships like Galaxy and Sovereign class vessels carry a few runabouts in their shuttlebays. But since runabouts are classified as Starships on their own right, and are too small to carry escape pods or shuttlecraft of their own, it is essential that they be equipped with Transporters. And indeed they are. Towards the rear of the bridge is a little Transporter Pad just big enough for two people. Due to the fact that a runabout doesn't produce as much energy as a larger

Starship, its Transporter range is limited to around 25 000 kilometers. But we're not done yet. Thanks to Isolinear technology, Starfleet has been able to create Transporters small enough to fit into shuttlecraft. These are used usually only as an emergency evacuation device, and are only capable of beaming one person at a time no further than 15 000 kilometers. Shuttles seldom have a Transporter Pad, instead the Transporter's systems are concealed behind the internal bulkheads, along with the rest of the inner workings. So we can see that the Transporter has become an integral part of the space travel experience, and indispensable to most space travelers. But how does it work? In a nutshell, it's a simple four-step process: 1. It scans you. 2. It dematerializes you 3. It transmits you to your destination where it 4. rematerializes you But, as you might expect, it's a lot more complicated than that. Step 1: Operation Sequence. The passengers take their places on the Transporter Pads - one to a pad. The Transporter operator takes his place behind the Transporter control console. Step 2: Checks The Transporter operator performs a number of redundant fullsystem checks to prevent malfunctions. Step 3: Destination coordinates. This is a very important step. You can't just beam someone into the general vicinity of where they want to go. If you're not careful they could end up rematerializing in solid rock or in front of a speeding bus. The beam-in location has to be very carefully chosen.

In order to do this, the Transporter operator needs to tie into the ship's sensors. Step 4: Confinement It would be difficult to run a sub-molecular scan on a moving target. For this purpose, the passengers are held in place by a low-level force field called the Annular Confinement Beam. Step 5: Scanning The Transporter is equipped with a set of redundant Molecular Imaging Scanners. These specially designed sensors scan your entire body at a quantum level, mapping the precise location and spin of every single particle in your body. If you know anything about Quantum Physics, your ears should have pricked up with that last sentence... the Heisenberg Indeterminacy Principle states that it is impossible to simultaneously know both the position and spin of any particle. Well, fortunately for us, Mr Ericsson invented a device called the Heisenberg Compensator. This device, as the name suggests, compensates for the Heisenberg Principle. I have reviewed all the available literature and spoken to every expert I could find about the Heisenberg Compensator in an effort to find out how this device might function. The best answer I've been able to find is "Very well, thank you." Step 6: Records Once you've been scanned, the Transporter makes two records of your beam. The Transporter Log records your identity, the time and destination of your transport.

The Transporter also records a molecular-level pattern of you in the library computer called a Transporter Trace. This trace can be used as a ‘roll-back point' in the event of a problem during transport. Step 7: Disassembly Now that the computer has your pattern stored, your body is

dismantled using the Phase Transition Coils. This is a quick and painless procedure, although some people have reported being able to feel their molecules being pulled apart. Step 8: Data/Matter Stream This is where the contention comes in as to how the Transporter actually works. The question here is whether your molecules are broken down into energy, stored and transmitted along with the information of your pattern (Matter Stream) or if your molecules are discarded and just the information is sent (Data Stream). There have been conflicting references to this process in canon Trek, but I'll get more into this a little later. In either case, whether Matter or Data is sent to the Pattern Buffer, a large storage area usually located beneath the deck on which the Transporter Pad is situated. Step 9: Beam out The Data/Matter Stream is send to the Transporter Antenna located on the hull of the ship. From there it can be sent to just about any location within 40 000km. The safest place to be beamed to is another ship... especially if that ship is also equipped with a Transporter. Your pattern can be sent directly into that ship's Pattern Buffer and you can rematerialize on their Transporter Pad, thus minimizing the chance of signal degradation during transport. This is referred to as Ship-to-ship Transport. However, you can also be beamed to somewhere else on the same ship, or a nearby planet that isn't equipped with a Transporter. This is called Ship-to-site Transport. The Transporter Antenna on the ship's hull is able to perform all the same functions as the Transporter Pad at a longer range, so rematerialisation is also quite safe. With the advent of Bio-neural circuitry in the late 24th Century, Transporter computers were given enough processing power to perform Site-to-site Transport. Until then, all transporting had to have either the point of origination or destination

on the Transporter Pad. Site-to-site Transport allows you to be beamed directly from one place, via a ship's Pattern Buffer, to another place, without ever having to rematerialize on the ship's Transporter Pad. Step 9: Confinement Before beaming in, the destination is once again made safe by using the Annular Confinement Beam. Step 10: Beam in The Transporter Antenna begins to transmit your Data/Matter Stream to the destination. Step 11: Reassembly Low-level force fields reassemble you according to your pattern using either your original molecules, or by recruiting matter from the beam-in point. BUT You step onto the Transporter Pad, have your body ripped apart into its component bits, and rebuilt again somewhere else. Is the person on the other end still you? In other words: Is it reasonable to assume that you will survive transport? First, we need to come to an agreement on what constitutes survival. Let's start by looking at inanimate objects. My example is the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 as she was in the mid 23rd Century. A fine ship for the time. She served well. But after several decades in space she was beginning to become obsolete. Rather than scrap her, Starfleet Command decided to give her a refit. It took some doing, and just about every system on board was rebuilt from the ground up. After the refit, she left space-dock virtually a new ship. She even looked different. But she still carried the name on her hull USS Enterprise NCC-1701. So let's take two photos, or time-slices of the object in question.

E1 is the Enterprise before she went in for the refit. E2 is her after the refit. E2 is what we call a continuer of E1. But there wasn't only one continuer or the refit. There was also a pile of rubble... spare parts left over from the refit. Let's call that E3. Now we have two continuers of E1, but which one is The Enterprise? So we're looking for the "closest continuer". Well, most of the stuff that made up E1 is in E3, so surely that would be the closest continuer? That doesn't sit well does it? Sure, E3 might have the same material as E1, but E3 isn't a ship, is it? E2 is a ship. So, in fact, we're really looking for the closest close-enough continuer... that would be E2. Therefore we can determine that E1 and E2 are the same object. They are numerically identical. But that's fine and well when talking about things, what about people? Let's take me as an example. Me 20 years ago, we'll call Owen1. He was about a meter tall, weighed 20-something kilos, liked to play in sand and enjoyed watching He Man. Then me today, Owen2. Owen2 is almost 2 meters tall, weighs over 100 kilos, seldom goes outdoors and would rather watch Star Trek than He Man. They're quite different. They look completely different, in fact even the cells in their bodies aren't the same. They have all been recycled at least three times. They don't do the same things, or even experience the same psychological states. Yet we agree that they are numerically identical... they are the same person.

Why is that? Well, because Owen1 and Owen2 are linked by a series of continuers, that series is called a chain of causality. That chain binds the two together defining them as being numerically identical. Ok, so it's reasonable that someone or something can survive having all its bits swapped out with new ones, and still be the same person. This is what we call normal survival. But what about Transporters? Let's look at the concept of Matter Transport first... it's a little easier to follow. I have a desktop computer, let's call it Computer1. Let's say that I am an exceptionally gifted computer technician. I am able to disassemble Computer1 down to its smallest component parts... every single chip removed from the board. All the while, I'm making a plan of exactly how Computer1 was put together in the first place. When I'm done, I'm left with a pile of spare parts, and a plan for reassembly. Those are two continuers of Computer1. I then take those parts, and apply the plan to them: I use them all to assemble a new computer according to the plan. Once I've finished, I have a complete computer again. We'll call this one Computer2. If you compare Computer1 and Computer2, they are qualitatively identical. They look the same, they operate the same way, and all the software that was on Computer1 is still loaded onto Computer2. If I plugged Computer2 into a domain, it would register itself as if it were Computer1... it's not aware that anything has happened.

So not only are Computer1 and Computer2 qualitatively identical, but Computer2 is also the closest close-enough continuer of Computer1... they are numerically identical as well. Ok, so what about a person? Ensign1 steps onto the Transporter Pad. The Transporter makes a complete and accurate plan of his body at the quantum level - a Pattern. The Transporter then dismantles his body breaking it down into the energy it's made of. The stuff floating around in the Pattern Buffer is the only continuer of Ensign1 at the point. The Matter Stream is sent to the destination coordinates where the energy is condensed back into matter, and reorganized according to the Pattern. Standing on the planet we then have Ensign2. Ensign2 looks like Ensign1. He's made of the exact same stuff as Ensign1 was, and it's all arranged in the same place. Ensign2 remembers stepping up onto the Transporter Pad, he remembers being nervous when he gave the order to Energize, and now he feels relief that the process is over. The away team on the surface immediately recognize him and notice no difference in his behavior to how he was at the briefing ten minutes ago. Ensign2 is qualitatively identical to Ensign1. And since he is the closest close-enough continuer of Ensign1, they are also numerically identical. Matter Transport is no different to every day survival. Data Transport is a little more complicated. Let's say I need to go overseas, and I would like to take Computer1 with me. But I can't fit it in my luggage. What do I do?

I use my expert skills once again to make a plan of exactly how Computer1 was put together, down to the littlest detail. I also make a ghost backup of Computer1's hard drive, which contains every piece of software and document stored. I then thrown Computer1 in a trash compactor... utterly destroying it. When I get to my destination, I take out the plan I made. I go to my nearest computer shop and buy a set of new components... the exact same components Computer1 was made of. I assemble those components according to the plan, and load the ghost backup onto the new hard drive, thus creating Computer2. Because the computers' specifications are exactly the same, the software all runs perfectly, as it did on Computer1. If I plug Computer2 into a domain, it will register as if it were Computer1. I have access to all my software and documents, and Computer2 runs exactly as Computer1 did. Computer1 and Computer2, although not made of the same stuff, are still qualitatively similar. Since Computer2 is the closest continuer of Computer1, and is also a computer, it is also the closest close-enough continuer. Computer1 and Computer2 are numerically identical. Ok, but what about our Ensign? Ensign1 steps onto the Transporter Pad. The Molecular Imaging Scanners make an exact record of his body (which includes the chemical and electrical activity in his brain, so psychological activity is also recorded). The Phase Transition Coils come online and vaporise Ensign1. On the planet, the Annular Confinement Beam gathers together some free-floating air and dust particles, breaks them down at a subatomic level, and reassembles them according to the pattern recorded on the Transporter Pad, thus creating Ensign2.

Ensign2 is qualitatively similar to Ensign1, even though they are not made of the same stuff (remember Owen1 and Owen2 weren't made of the same stuff either, and they were qualitatively quite different). Ensign2 remembers stepping up onto the Transporter Pad, he remembers being nervous when he gave the order to Energize, and now he feels relief that the process is over. The away team on the surface immediately recognize him and notice no difference in his behavior to how he was at the briefing ten minutes ago. Ensign2 is the closest continuer, and since he is also an Ensign, that makes him the closest close-enough continuer of Ensign1, they are also numerically identical. So Data Transport is no different to every day survival either. Ok, so, we can survive Transport. Any volunteers? In order to increase the safety, reliability and usefulness of the Transporter, Starfleet as developed several related technologies. We're going to look at a few of them. Pattern Enhancers: These are devices designed to boost the Transporter signal under conditions where beaming might otherwise be difficult. This could be because of range limitations, or unfavourable climates on a planet. These are three masts, each roughly a meter long. They are erected in a triangle around the passengers, and are activated by remote control when the Transporter operator begins the confinement sequence. Transport drones: These are also designed to assist in obtaining a Transporter lock on subjects that are difficult to detect. They are small flying robots, that fly around designated area identifying beam-up targets and tagging them with Isolinear Tags. The Tags allow the Transporter operator to lock onto them as if they were wearing a subspace beacon, like a Comm-badge.

Emergency Transport Beacon: This is a small device carried by away teams, usually worn attached to their clothing. It contains an Isolinear Tag, as well a remote control circuit. When activated, the beacon sends a signal to any Transporter in range, telling it to activate and to beam the person to a pre-determined location (such as sickbay). Transport Inhibitor: A Starship's shields will prevent anyone from beaming in or out of the ship. But if you need to protect people from beam-outs who are not on board a Starship, this can be done with Transport Inhibitors. These are disk-like devices, almost a meter in diameter. They are hoisted up on masts over 2 meters tall, and when activated they create a sensor-jamming field, thus preventing Transporter locks. They can be counteracted using devices such as Isolinear Tags, Emergency Beacons or Pattern Enhancers. Right... all this talk of Transporters has made me thirsty, I could use a soda. But I have an idea... A soda is a much simpler thing than a person. If I wanted to beam it somewhere I wouldn't need a quantum-level pattern to do so, only a molecular level one that tells me where the can ends and the soda begins. A soda is also much smaller than a person. Since a soda's pattern is so much less data than a person, it's theoretically possible that if I had a large enough computer, I could permanently store that pattern on it. Any time I wanted another soda, I could pull up that pattern on the Transporter's computer, and use some recruited matter to materialize a new one, right? Right. With the invention of Isolinear Circuitry, Starships begin being equipped with such computers as standard.

This has resulted in a revolutionary life-style change, called the Replicator. The Replicator is essentially half a Transporter. It doesn't have scanners or Heisenberg Compensators or Phase Transition Coils, just a library of stored patterns and a rematerialisation matrix. Replicators can produce just about anything from food, equipment, clothing... anything you might need. Highly sophisticated Genotronic Replicators can even replicate body parts. The advent of Replicators led to another major technological advancement: the Holodeck. Before Replicators, Federation holographic technology could only bend light, to create the appearance of objects, but these objects were insubstantial - they couldn't be touched, smelled or tasted. By combining Replicator and Holographic technology, Starfleet was able to create the first true immersive system - a virtual reality that caters to all the senses. In a Holodeck, when a player moves towards a holographic object, such as a tree, the hologram of the tree is replaced by a solid, physically real replicated tree. It wouldn't be a living tree, but it would look, feel and smell like a real one. When the player moves away from the tree, the solid one is dematerialized and replace with a holographic tree again. This only applies to inanimate objects in the Holodeck. Holographic people cannot exist outside of the range of a holographic emitter, even though parts of their body can be replicated in order to physically interact with real-life objects and people. The Federation aren't the only people with Transporter technology. Many others, including people like the Romulans and Klingons possess technology that works in much the same way.

The problem is, some malevolent powers in the galaxy have Transporter technology that is more sophisticated than that of the Federation. An example of this is Invasive Transporters - Transporters capable of beaming through shields. The Borg have Invasive Transporters. Although we don't know for certain how they work, we know that the Borg have highly sophisticated sensor technology, which allows them to detect the precise modulation frequency of a Starship's shields, so as to adapt their weapons to fire straight through. It's reasonable to assume that they can adapt their equivalent of the Annular Confinement Beam in the same way. Another group with Invasive Transporters is the Dominion. We believe that theirs work differently, however. The theory is that Dominion vessels use energy dampening technology to weaken a section of the ship's shields, then use a highly focused Annular Confinement Beam to punch through the weakened section. The Rutians have devised a way to get around shields, instead of through them. Using a process called Subspace Transition Rebounding Transport (or Dimensional Shifting, for short) they are able to force the passenger's body through the Subspace realm and out again at the desired destination. This method is inherently very dangerous, and repeated use is fatal for base-type humanoids. The Ferengi have experimented with Subspace Transporter technology. This uses subspace radio to transmit the Transporter beam, thus increasing its range (over a light-year), and allowing it to pass through shields. This process requires a lot more energy than conventional Transport, and is quite risky. The Voth have Invasive Transporters as well. It's not certain how they work, but it is believed that the process is related to their Interphase Cloaking Devices. Voth City Ships are also equipped with Transporters so large, they are able to beam entire Starships into their holds. The Sikarians have developed Transporters (or Spatial Trajectors) with a range of 40

000 light-years. It's uncertain how this process works. Theories suggest a controlled artificial wormhole might be the source. The distance record fro Transporters belongs to the Iconians - a race believed to have been mythical until the Enterprise D came across a set of ruins in the late 24th Century. The Iconians possessed a technology that allowed them to create a "portal" to anywhere in the universe. There were no distance limits on this technology. Because the Iconian Transporter works over any distance, instantaneously, it is suggested that this technology uses a process called Quantum Entanglement. Present day scientists and engineers are working on the principle of Quantum Entanglement as a possible means to create a functional Transporter in the next couple of centuries. The process works something like this: Take a particle, any particle. Let's say a photon, for example. We'll call it Particle1. Through the process of Quantum Entanglement, we take the properties (or "spin") of Particle1 and apply them onto another particle, called Particle2. Particle1 and Particle2 are now indistinguishable... they are qualitatively identical. Since the process of Quantum Entanglement destroys the original particle, it seems that Particle2 is also the closest continuer of Particle1. So they are numerically identical as well. This process involves creating a direct communication link between the two particles... the link is instantaneous, and the distance between the particles is irrelevant. Although thus far we've only been able to perform this procedure using relatively small particles such as photons, we have devised ways of applying to objects as large as buckyballs (complex Carbon molecules). We just don't have the technology to

build machines to do it yet... but we'll get there. Who knows? Your grandchildren could be beaming to work on another planet one day, and will laugh at stories of how we used to sit in traffic, ride uncomfortable airplanes, and how it took us days just to get to the moon!

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