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Old December 28 2013, 02:22 PM   #22
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Re: Transporter beams itself?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But the TNG-era technological retcon made it even worse in some ways, because of all the convoluted procedure of breaking matter down into particles, sending the particles through a subspace beam akin to a wormhole, then putting the particles back together again.
Where did this come from?
From Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda, the technical advisors for TNG and its successors, in the technical notes they created for the production and eventually incorporated into the TNG Technical Manual. It was their attempt to find a more plausible interpretation of the dematerialization-based operation of the transporter. And it is more plausible in terms of raw physics than the old "matter to energy" idea, but it's far more convoluted from a practical standpoint. It would've ideally been preferable to abandon the dematerialization angle altogether, but they were stuck with it because TNG was treated as a continuation of TOS rather than a wholesale continuity reboot.

And how is a subspace beam a wormhole?
They're analogous because they both involve bypassing normal 3-dimensional space to transmit things through additional dimensions. The reason Sternbach & Okuda established that transporters operate through subspace was to explain how they could beam through solid matter, transporting people inside ships or buildings or into/out of caves underground. Their conclusion was that the beam bypassed normal space by passing through subspace. That's essentially what a wormhole does.
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