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Old July 27 2010, 01:14 AM   #1
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Replicator resolution

It's an oft-repeated (and, as far as I know, canonical) fact that replicators work only on a molecular scale, as opposed to transporters which go down to the quantum level.

After rewatching DS9: "Visionary", however, I'm wondering about the nature of this limitation (in the aforementioned episode, a group of undercover Klingon intelligence agents "realign the matter-energy conversion matrix" of a replicator, using a device made on Davlos III and turn it into a small transporter).

Is it that they can't work beyond the molecular scale, or merely that - to preserve computer memory, remembering how much five transporter patterns took up in DS9: "Our Man Bashir" - the patterns are routinely stored at the "good enough" lower resolution, but they're capable of utilising a quantum scale pattern if one is given to them?
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