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Old September 3 2012, 01:28 AM   #16
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Location: Bristol, United Kingdom
Re: How does that blasted transporter work anyhow?

I think the way it SHOULD work is that a quantum scanner records your pattern and then as a consequence of that scan your atoms are quantum-linked with extra-dimensional energy and phased intact, effectively swapping places with the energy from the other dimension. The anular confinement beam is needed to keep the quantum-linked energy in the correct pattern for reintegration which occurs automatically once the beam is switched off at destination co-ordinates. The energy pattern is sent via a subspace carrier wave.

Now whenever a signal is sent, some of the information always leaks away, despite the confinement beam. When a person returns to the ship, the transporter adds back in any missing atoms using replicated material. If too much information is lost, an excessive amount of replicated material just leads to the person reforming as a corpse except in rare situations like with Tom Riker.

This method takes a step away from the kill and copy format at least, stays relatively consistent with what we've seen on screen, including Realm of Fear. It would also add in sensible limitations so you always need a communicator or tag (both standard issue to all landing parties) and that using transporters too often in quick succession can lead to illness.

Technically, the transporter should only work if the person on the planet has a Starfleet issue communicator or some other relay (like a tag) to allow a localised quantum scan to take place. I don't really understand why it's necessary to carry out a quantum scan using a transporter pad if you can just use normal scanners to beam people straight up off a planet's surface. I think they opened Pandora's box early on and couldn't shut it again and the escalation has now involved increasing the distance over light years in the latest movie, transmissable through standard subspace communications relays in the ongoing comic. But it seems to me the issue isn't sending the information, it's maintaining the confinement beam over a relatively long period of time so that too much information doesn't leak away.
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