The Trek BBS

The Trek BBS (
-   General Trek Discussion (
-   -   Transporter beams itself? (

ZapBrannigan December 17 2013 10:26 AM

Transporter beams itself?
Could the ship's transporter be locked onto itself and dematerialize all its own machinery? If it did, there would be no "pattern buffer" (a storage device) to hold the reassembly instructions, and no machinery to perform the reassembly of the machine. It sounds absurd. At best, a matter stream would fly off into space never to be seen again.

And yet that's what Mr. Data's personal transporter does in Nemesis. For me, that was over the line. Advanced technology is one thing, but the idea that all the transporter machinery gets dematerialized with you, and yet it continues to function, is insane.

King Daniel Into Darkness December 17 2013 10:35 AM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
IIRC, Data's mini transporter was one use only, and so presumably left some tiny components behind. I'm not sure the writers gave it that much thought, but it's my explanation and I'm sticking with it!

Tosk December 17 2013 11:55 AM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
Even though the film doesn't support this, I prefer to think of it as a compact version of the pattern enhancers that we saw on TNG. And that Data tied it in to one of the shuttle transporters.

T'Girl December 17 2013 03:31 PM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
^ It being something like a targetting beacon would seem to make more sense, the Enterprise's transporters weren't completely disabled, just the part that locks on to the transportee.


Christopher December 17 2013 04:36 PM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
That's always been my interpretation, that the "personal transporter" was just some sort of remote control or beacon for the ship's machinery.

It should be noted that the concept of a personal transporter was introduced quite a few years earlier in Voyager's "Non Sequitur," though there it was a rather larger device than the one in NEM. There as well, I choose to interpret it as a device that connects to an existing transporter system and takes control of it, rather than one that actually somehow teleports itself.

Hmm... I suppose a self-beaming transporter could work if it had two redundant transporter mechanisms -- transporter A would beam transporter B to the destination, then transporter B would beam transporter A there. But it's hard to believe that even one transporter could be miniaturized to the size of that tiny device in Data's arm, let alone two.

King Daniel Into Darkness December 17 2013 04:51 PM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
I thought the pip-sized transporter was pretty cool. We so rarely saw any technological advancement in the Trekverse's 200+ years, that and Voyager's warp 9+ shuttles were a nice sign that things were moving forward.

Bad Thoughts December 17 2013 06:19 PM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
Oh, I wished from the title that this was a series of Yakov Smirnoff-style jokes about the ST future: "In Socialist Federation, transporter beams itself!"

JirinPanthosa December 18 2013 03:54 AM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
In America, winner of election is candidate who gets most votes.

In Democratic Russia, winner of election is Putin!

I feel like Data's personal transporter was a contrivance to make it so he couldn't get both of them back and would be forced to sacrifice himself.

Pavonis December 19 2013 03:23 AM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
You should feel that way. That's what it was.

King Daniel Into Darkness December 19 2013 08:49 AM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
Add in the transwarp beaming mod and you have a pip-sized transporter that can send you anywhere.

PicardSpeedo December 19 2013 12:51 PM

Re: Transporter beams itself?

Pavonis wrote: (Post 9029750)
You should feel that way. That's what it was.

As was the entire movie.

Dick_Valentine December 20 2013 10:34 PM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
That was a whole new level of confusion for me when I think about the transporter.

I still have a hard enough time getting my head round the idea you need a transporter pad to disassemble you but you can seemingly be reassembled in the middle of a barren alien planet with no receiving equipment......:wtf:

If I was going to have my insides scrambled and reassembled I think I'd want the equipment working on BOTH ends, thank you very much!

(Also depending on plot it either needs the transporter pad at one end or they can sometimes go site to site and have the ship teleport them around the planet without a need for a pad on either end.....WHATTTTTT? )

Robert Comsol December 20 2013 10:42 PM

Re: Transporter beams itself?

Dick_Valentine wrote: (Post 9036497)
If I was going to have my insides scrambled and reassembled I think I'd want the equipment working on BOTH ends, thank you very much!

I wouldn't recommend that. As we clearly saw in TMP, having a transmitting transporter and a receiving one is not without risk. :devil:


Phanton December 28 2013 01:15 AM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
I posted similar question without seeing this one sorry; I think multiple transporters each locking on to itself within the matter stream?

Barclay in I think ‘Realm of Fear’ TNG seemed to grab others within the matter stream which suggests things continue to work (in a way) while in the matter stream.

What is the matter stream? Is it sub-space? Does it have dimension or time?

Christopher December 28 2013 01:55 AM

Re: Transporter beams itself?
The absurdities of "Realm of Fear" notwithstanding, the matter stream is supposed to be the stream of particles that make up the subject, being transmitted through the transporter beam to the destination coordinates. It's literally a stream of matter -- your atoms are disassembled, turned into a stream which travels through subspace to the destination, and then reassembled into their original configuration. It's kind of like sending something through a very tiny wormhole only wide enough to fit individual subatomic particles rather than an intact person.

Essentially there are two key components transmitted through the beam. One is the matter stream, the actual raw material, and the other is the transporter pattern, the information describing how the particles go together to make a person or object, which is recorded when the transporter scans you. Now, in quantum physics terms, particles of the same type are identical and interchangeable; the thing that makes them individual is their particular state. So the information that defines you essentially is you in quantum terms. So in a sense, the real you is converted into the transporter pattern, an energy matrix in the beam which encodes that information. That would have to be the part that retains consciousness while the body is disassembled. After all, consciousness is information as well, so the mind could be active within the beam just as it would if it were uploaded into a computer. That's my take on what Barclay experienced in "Realm" -- that his mind perceived himself as still having a body because he was experiencing things from within the pattern that encoded all information about his body and mind simultaneously, so subjectively it felt to him as if he still had physical form. And when he sensed the others in the beam, his mind interpreted the sensation through sensory hallucinations.

It's still a dumb episode, but that's how I rationalize it.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.