I can send small things back in time 500 milliseconds, which item listed would be most profitable to teleclone? (without extortion)

CAVEAT: NO TERRORIST SOLUTIONS

(Obvious answer to any new tech that destroys stuff is "use it for extortion." That cheap trick won't get rewarded here)

I have a device similar to what Douglas E. Richards' used in Split Second such that any object of less than 3 m3 size can be sent back up to 0.5 seconds in time. When it does, it exists before it leaves so for that split second there are two of them. It's a "Telecloner" which teleports something by sending it back in time, making a temporary clone form in the "destination" time in the past, until the "origin" time in the future. See the diagram:

1. Mouse A exists.
2. T2 = 0.5 seconds before the mouse A is teleported. The mouse A appears in the teleported location
3. T1 = Mouse A vanishes from the teleportation area (It is not "destroyed" like a Star Trek transporter - it traveled back in time)
4. Mouse A exists in the teleported location alone, original mouse sent away.

To visualize this better, Imagine a Star Trek transporter which “beams” you 20 meters away except you materialize 0.5 seconds before you dematerialize (yes, that means you are at your destination only slightly before you say “energize”)

Earth's travel dictates that up to 3 times per day, anything up to the size of a microwave oven can be teleported between 5 and 50 feet away by sending it back in time up to 0.5 seconds. The machine must be stationary, but it is installed anywhere you want (a bank, office building, garage, back of a truck, port-O-potty, etc. and can teleport anything inside a safe, a drawer, room, garage, etc.)

Hard science in the plot dictate that it can't to scale up. It operates by anchoring the small region in the scalar Higgs field, until the link between the machine and the space is broken.

• An Object in a defined spatial region of 0.5 m$$^3$$ can be targeted from up to 3 feet away in open air. The region can be any ovoid region, or can be sculpted into a loose rectangle as well, limited by volume rather than linear dimension. Larger objects up to 3 m$$^2$$ can be telecloned only by using a special chamber, which can fit in a van. A person could be done with tremendous risk and has not been tried.
• You can’t choose the destination: Where the item appears depends on the time and date. Why? The object does not actually move, but the earth and universe do, so it appears wherever that point in space was a split second ago. Simply put: It works by merely freezing the object in the timestream, while the earth (universe) continues to clock forward (and in every other dimension). The distance is determined by the movement of the earth, thus the operation limit.

The list of things you have successfully telecloned is as follows:

Of this list, I am experimenting with which item may be the most profitable.

Here's what they've done so far:

1. A wallet with a fake ID (and a driver license, a key, a credit card, and a contract in it) was transported into a government building. They entered the building as a contractor, then picked up the government ID once they passed security.
2. Yeast was multiplied several times to quickly make beer.
3. A mouse was transported into a sealed Schrodinger Cat box, with the cyanide trap. To see what would happen. The mouse was alive.
4. A signed check was put into the car from the house. It was cold outside.
5. A camera took a picture of a virtual Lotto machine as it stopped, a Web bot quickly typed in the winning number. The collection was closed 5 minutes before the drawing, but the robot got the right numbers.
6. A cheap parlor trick: A special unique coin was shown to some kids, put into the machine, and the kids found it in the freezer 20 seconds later. Never stopped talking about it.
7. A piece of the granite kitchen counter (a mineral) was transported into the yard, leaving a nearly perfect hole in the granite, and a nice big round granite coaster.
8. A jewelry box (with diamond and heirloom) was removed from a safe (with a sliver of steel with it. Oops.)
9. From the back wall of a pharmacy late one night, a random assortment of medications was telecloned out to the parking lot. With some shelving and an employee's RFID card. And other stuff.
10. A transmitting walkie-talkie radio was telecloned into the trunk of a stranger's car and recorded until the battery died. The stranger was a cop, and the walkie-talkie had fingerprints on it, and became evidence in a very strange wiretapping case.
11. A lit propane torch was telecloned into a large 50-gallon residential propane tank. It was one of the few experiments that went as planned.
12. A video camera showed a bullet hole in the wall next to a target in the hall. This was just before, outside the house and 20 feet East, a target was shot at in the yard. The bullet passed through a laser line to trigger the telecloner. Nothing hit the target in the yard. The bullet moved 20 feet West, and 200 ms earlier.

Concepts to consider:

• An exothermic chemical reaction sent backwards would double its heat output.
• A radioactive source could be used to double its radiation for that time.
• A breeding culture of cells/bacteria could rapidly populate.
• Any bomb could be doubled, but the telecloner will be destroyed as well.
• Any small object could be teleported through any material, for that short distance. Into a safe or vault, for example.

Q:

• Note: Discussion about paradoxes should go to chat first. There will be dangers and faults in every answer: perfection is not sought, the question asks only for cold, hard, likely unethical, profit.

Concieved implications / Paradoxes: There are horrific implications to this as essentially the "clone" which goes to the past can emerge inside a solid object if the timing is wrong, like Star Trek transporters. In this case, it would be quite horrible. You could literally watch yourself become transported into an object before you disappear. But weaponizing it can be a side arc for some entity who doesn't know how unpredictable it is. The weapon will fail horribly if they try—you're only 50 feet from the blast!

This technology avoids the Grandfather Paradox, it's still the current you that dies (not the past you). For that instant you are a clone.

A Causal Loop paradox is used because it is easy to shut down (remove power, no further iterations can occur). At the same time the Klinkhammer and Echeverria solution to the Polchinski's paradox can be the basis of the time pump: an object or volume of water repeatedly teleports backward to displace itself, accumulating momentum, thus creating flow. The challenge is you cannot control the teleportation direction. As such, the time pump piping has to be on a six axis gimbal so it can keep the water flowing in the right direction, and must operate intermittently. Hence, the time pump is very large and bulky.

FAQ:

(For the purposes of forming an answer, time-travel problems need in-world mechanics explained. Per questions, here is the in-world answer):

1. What happens to existing matter at the destination? A: Sent back another 0.5 seconds; and that material is again sent back (1 second now), and that material is sent back 1.5s., and so on. Those alternate timelines never manifest in-world, you are the first harmonic. In the end, as far as you know it is just gone.
2. What is the precision of the destination? At 50 feet your object is placed in a region within 0.5 cm of the designed target. Shorter displacements reduce the error linearly. Thus a safely telecloned object sent 50 feet should expect to fall up to 1 cm.
3. Can the plot use the erasing feature to profit? A: No, it can not. That would be an answer for a disintegration weapon. The answer must employ the telecloning feature in the answer, as the title says.
4. How big is the smaller device? A: The smaller device can be a backpack-sized machine like Ghostbusters antimatter stream guns. But the device has to be stable and mounted to work, not on your back. It has to calibrate to the earth's movements very precisely before firing a successful nulling wave. Any vibrations will make the cloning fizzle and do nothing.
5. How big is the larger device? A: Like an office desk turned on its side. It can pack into a van but can't be launched from the van unless the vehicle is stabilized on jacks, and the telecloning booth is also immobilized.
6. Can I answer with the Grandfather Paradox? A: The answer must use the telecloning effect to create a revenue, not any other side-effect of the device. An object and all of its information have come back from the future. While this creates other consequences, those consequences are not unique to this device/plot and don't answer this unique problem.
• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 19:25
• Please try to concentrate the edits in as few run as possible. If you are unsure about what do, use the sandbox and the use the final version in edit. Continuously editing a post unfairly bumps it, damaging other posts.
– L.Dutch
Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 15:42
• Gravity operates independent of time's vector, so the reappearance of the object shouldn't be random. Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 20:05
• I know. It isn’t random. But the Higgs field is scalar, it has no reference frame. That’s how this appears to move objects in space. Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 20:06
• My knowledge of temporal mathematics isn't quite up to snuff, but I'm pretty sure there's a way to finagle such a machine into computing the answer of certain algorithms instantly, regardless of how big of an O the specific problem is. Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 20:14

I think the microtrading is the correct solution. Having ability to move something back in time three times a day 0.5 seconds back (do I understand it correctly?) is just so constrictive, it is hard to come up with any an application at all.

What I think might actually be more useful, is to just use it as a teleport in applications where the destination is impossibly hard to reach otherwise. (I am considering, that if you know the time and coordinates of departure point, you can determine the destination with arbitrarily high accuracy.)

Need to put a bug into a crime boss mansion? You just need to park outside at the exact time and place.

How about placing an item into a safe, that cannot be opened without signal being send (integrity protection).

Or a sci-fy application. For example feeding tritium to nuclear fusion reactors, no need to include any valves ot entry, use your machine to get the gass inside.

Nothing else comes to mind.

• Oh, fusion feeding! That is something! Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 22:18
• If you trigger at the right threshold, you can make way more profit. Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 3:34

Stock prices.

A chip capable of wireless communication gets filled with the current stock prices, is transported back in time, the data is read into an automated stock trading system and the stock trading system buys all stocks which will increase their price in the next couple milliseconds and then sell them the moment they do.

In modern, fully-automated high-frequency stock trading every millisecond matters. Being able to look just 500ms into the future would allow you to make some pretty decent amount of money.

How decent? Well, stock prices will rarely fluctuate by more than single cent values over such a short time. But do not underestimate the power of exponential growth. Even if each jump only allows you to make 0.1% profit, it will take you less than a year to double your capital. Start with \$1000 and you are a millionaire in under 7 years, a billionaire in under 13 years and a trillionaire in under 20 years.

• Microtrading... It may take a matter of hours before the FTC is knocking at your door. Am I wrong? But... that makes a good plot, actually. So this answer is which one? The laptop? Memory stick? Or camera? Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 15:39
• There are already plenty of organizations who operate high frequency trading systems which are tolerated by the FTC. They use very sophisticated algorithms and they of course refuse to publish them. So you can probably get away by claiming that you also developed some super-advanced AI which is able to predict stock prices and which happens to work better than that of everyone else. Seems more plausible than that you invented time travel. Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 15:42
• @VogonPoet Regarding what to send back: Any device which can store data and can be read and written wirelessly (so you save the time required to plug it in). At first you would probably use some off-the-shelf NFC chip, but a soon as you have the capital you would probably develop your own device which can store more data and offers higher transfer speeds. Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 15:48
• I doubt if you could become a trillionaire that quickly. There is only so much liquidity at every price level: ex: There's only so many shares available for sale at 55.03 and so many at 55.04 and so on at any given time. When a big whale like Elon musk goes to unload shares, he has to do it slowly over multiple days so it doesn't crash the share price. Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 16:33
• @SurpriseDog Worse than that--this is going to be so much better than any HFT out there that it will kill the entire HFT market. Nobody can compete so the market will dry up. Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 2:23

Bullet in flight

Dumb fire bullets, missiles, and bombs are dangerous, but with a high speed camera, a computer, and this laser you can completely mitigate those threats. Whenever you see a bullet, missile or bomb, hit it with the laser. You may have to do this multiple times into the past, but eventually the target will move to a point where it won't hit its target. This is expensive, and would be a big investment, but secret service, billionaires, and military bases will pay a lot to protect their prime assets. If a missile or bomb is too big to teleport, don't worry, just teleport back as much as you can and the weapon will probably be disabled if you aimed right.

The amount of money you get from the weapon therefore scales not based on what you send back, but by what you can protect, or what enemy ordinance you can destroy.

Here are somethings you might protect, and their costs.

• A US airbase: 800 million or more.
• A F-15 Jet: 12-35 million in production costs.
• An Aircraft carrier: at least 10 billion.
• A Tomahawk missile: 2 million.
• A Current US President: Money is no object.

The Higgs Boson Field

The Higgs Boson field is the scalar field of energy that makes up the resting state of energy that all matter and energy seems to come from. While we think of the universe being mostly a vacuum, it is more like a calm ocean, filled with this deep source of energy that we can not directly detect because it is all in perfect equilibrium... but if you could move a small column of the Higgs Boson field over just a few millimeters you would create an energy gradient that could in theory be used as a power source that makes anti-matter or fusion reactions look like a child's play thing.

The principles of thermodynamics say that energy moves from areas of high concentration to low concentration; so, simply moving over a column of the universe's resting energy would cause an unthinkably tall spike of potential energy that would want to radiate outward, next to what would be an unthinkably deep well of negative energy that would want to draw everything around it into it.

If you were to harness this massive land-slide of energy it could become the basis of an unthinkably powerful energy source. The best part is that once the Higgs Boson Field falls back into equilibrium you can just do it over and over again as a sort of self fueling reactor.

Alternately, if you could get really good at controlling this reaction, you might even be able to use it as the basis for a Alcubierre Drive allowing you to travel faster than light since it would give you the massive positive and negative mass nodes you need to make one work.

Cryptocurrency. 500 ms is sufficient to copy the winning cryptographic solution to the current item in the block chain and replace it with your own. For example, you can mine fast transaction time cryptocurrencies 3 times a day (not that much profit on its own).

High cost information in general. The basic idea is anything that requires global scale computation to reach a solution quickly, you can now win by 500 ms.

• Are 500ms really enough time to achieve majority consensus in the bitcoin network? Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 14:42
• @Philipp good point. Updating my answer. Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 15:08

Mining

Mining has led us through time ever since it was first discovered, So why not use the Telecloner in mining operations. Simply mount it facing downwards and run it for a few moments at a time, firing a concentrated beam as a sort of drill. The beam will travel down to the center of the earth, successfully teleporting minerals, dirt, and sometimes magma, which is a problem that can be solved as long as the area is clear of flammable materials and is shaped like a pot or spaghetti strainer.

• ...I see. Things that drills cannot do. Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 18:02
• Exactly, This operation could drill a small hole through the earth in less than a second (roughly 70 ms) Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 18:17

Just gonna try and throw an idea that isn't what you don't want.

How about recording data of past events where there was previously no observer? Sending back a data recording device one second so it could record from past events that were missed by the interested party. This could have forensic applications. But what is 1 second to forensic scientist? Not much, but the possible application gives reason for further research to possibly extend that time.

If you do decide to open a can of worms by allowing time travel for more than 1 second:

Perhaps if you could send back an object partially and sacrificing the part that wasn't sent back as energy to send it back further, you could record for a longer period of time. But of course you still need the platform in order to go back, so that could be one of your restrictions, along with how much fuel you can provide the device to go back with. This could become an incentive for a luxurious commodity to develop. Something along the lines of purchasing a personal wayback machine so that you can revisit previous moments of your life which you didn't prepare to record ahead of time.

At this point your time machine also becomes a message in a bottle.

I can also imagine the surprise of people when they install the device, and a camera suddenly appears in it because their future self used it. At this point you cant really stop them interacting with it, they could just move it elsewhere until the time arises that they need to check its contents.

Honestly after all that, I wouldn't allow traveling back more than 1 second, but those are good thought problems the characters could visit while trying to find a way to make it happen.

But a more serious application would be something like finding an absolute coordinate system and calculating the velocity of the platform hosting this spacetime frozen particle. It doesn't seem like much but it has huge implications if it can be done.

• Yes knowing an absolute reference for the universe does have huge implications, but it’s still kinda “I made a time machine to charge batteries” level of interesting. I’m editing now because it’s closed, I’ll try not to invalidate your answer. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 10:28
• don't restrict yourself on my account, I'll edit to make a note that my answer is no longer relevant if its necessary Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 1:13

Electricity generation

Use physics to your advantage! You say you can effectively double the energy of a bomb for example. This is wrong, as there's much more at play here. Not looking at the explosion we can already see a tremendous increase of energy. Putting a plastic ball inside another will put a lot of molecules close together. Double the molecules for the same space. They will start pushing on each other, releasing a lot of energy. In practice it would heat up and expand, possibly in shards.

To make use of it we can teleport some water into other water. This will by my estimate already heat up enough to make it all superheated steam. This in turn can drive a turbine.

Now include the solution to the Polchinski's paradox. Start by teleporting water into itself (or a volume that includes itself). It'll glance it into the right direction, causing it to smack into itself in the right direction to be teleported correctly 500ms later. Adding electricity generation can actually aid this and generate electricity. However, we might be able to manipulate this further. As I read it, the paradox doesn't need to stabalise immediately. It can teleport back in time, heat up to steam and repeat this cycle until the hot steam loses just as much energy to the surroundings as it generates. That means you basically created the same principle as a nuclear reactor, as you can use the excess heat to heat up water to steam and turn a turbine.

Do note that this will probably take an insanely large building to cope with this. That is good for a ton of power. My estimation is that it can get far hotter than a neutron star if not destroy the universe. That means you have solved the energy shortage by 'simply' teleporting just shy of 3m³ of water 500 ms back in time. If this potential to power several worlds or destroy it isn't a way to generate money, I don't know what is.

• Unfortunately time travel mechanics need to define everything, so they get complex. FAQ #1 doesn’t allow matter to overlap, so this would not superimpose molecules :( Sorry! Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 22:29
• @VogonPoet before that you yourself talk about matter inside other matter. Please rectify such things before hand, as I do not like to waste time on things later retracted. Besides, material can simply be close to each other, like the frame of a qube can overlap with another, but not touch. As molecules are essentially 99+% empty space we can overlap without ever having any matter transported further back in time. Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 22:45
• Where did I ever talk about matter inside other matter? No, I said that can’t happen. The problem with weaving molecules together is the lennard-jones potential exponentially increases with the inverse of the square of the distance. In fact I have calculated your bomb already here. Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 22:55
• @VogonPoet "There are horrific implications to this as essentially the "clone" which goes to the past can emerge inside a solid object if the timing is wrong, like Star Trek transporters. In this case, it would be quite horrible. You could literally watch yourself become transported into an object before you disappear." As I'm not using it as a weapon but as an energy source ut seemed applicable. In addition, the molecules aren't handwaved together, merely put in close proximity. Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 22:36
• “Merely put in close proximity” is what Lennard-Jones Potential energy calls a Bad Day. Like I said, I calculated my transporter bomb pretending we could magically land every atom neatly between the others (a stupid but necessary assumption). A black hole results even then. Atoms practice social distancing for more than just reasons of hygiene, it turns out.. Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 23:19

This is a Frame Challenge

Nothing on your list would provide profit of any kind because one-half second isn't enough time for anything meaningful, useful, or practical to be acted upon — especially when you can't predict (to the micron!) where it'll arrive.

For example, at first glance I thought @Philipp's answer concerning stock prices was a good one. But then I started thinking about that one-half second window. You push the button and a chip with useful stock information is send backwards only one-half second.

One-half second before you pushed the button your thumb was moving toward the button to push it. By the time you recover the chip and extract any meaningful information from it (no matter how it's configured into any other equipment), whatever value it had is long, long gone.

It's the ability to act on the event that's the problem.

And that means acting on it both before you push the button and after. Continuing to use @Philipp's answer as an example (I'm not knocking your answer, Philipp! I like it, I just don't think @VogonPoet's conditions allow it to be useful), let's assume that the recording device was installed in a machine that could detect profitable stock prices, write to the device, and trigger the event (you're thumb's no longer involved).

Where would the chip go? You said that is could end up kinda anywhere (unless we can perfectly plot the motion of the Earth through the universe), meaning that there's a better-than-average chance you can't even recover the object before the trigger-time is reached. What's the point of sending, e.g., a photo back one-half second when it takes 30 seconds to recover it? You'd have been better off ignoring the time-shift.

If the item can be guaranteed to appear in exactly the original space, then the chip would arrive into the slot that one-half second before it occupied. Which I'm willing to guess would cause a brief moment of nuclear fission.

Unless you can dematerialize that chip in the exact spot in another computer that can react to the presence of the chip in less than one-half second, I can't see any value at all.

And that's ignoring the fact that (a) insertable objects are inserted against springs, which wouldn't happen in this case... fission... and (b) that the drivers the software invoked to read the suddenly-appearing chip could identify the device, extract the data, and use the data meaningfully in just one-half second. You're obviously not using a USB flash drive.

Conclusion

None of the items on your list have any profitable value because you have a condition that's so short that either you can't adequately act to prepare the item before the time-shift, or you can't act in a practical way on the device after the time-shift, or both.

Information is the only thing that might be of value during so short a time, but your inability to recover the information and put it to use in just one-half second guarantees there will be no profit.

So, let's challenge the Frame again and suggest extortion

Extortion is, off the top of my head, the only meaningful solution. You need to get the compromising-information-containing-device away from the scene of the compromising event as fast as humanly possible. You're kinda hoping it's closer to 50 feet away than it is just 5 feet, but at least there's a practical use, because it doesn't matter when the information is put to use.

The only profitable event is one where you don't need to act on the result of the time-shift before the moment of the time-shift is "again" encountered. Meaning your time-shift isn't actually valuable at all (because of that one-half second window), you're just using it as a less-than-perfect spatial transporter.

Honestly, what could possibly be valuable if it appeared only one-half second earlier and not exactly (and I mean exactly) where you need it?

• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
– L.Dutch
Commented Feb 22, 2022 at 4:54

Oracle

Stacks of small objects with 64 different ASCII codes (A-Z, 0-9, punctuation) are prepared near the cloner. It can send back any one of these.

The reemergence site is monitored by camera and OCR. Whatever letter appears is recorded, and that letter is then sent back.

Note that you never roll any dice. The letter that appears is one that was deliberately selected. The letter was selected by the fixed procedure of matching whatever letter appeared.

There is a paradox. It is up to the universe to solve that paradox. The content of how it solves the paradox is an expression of some larger force from beyond the universe. It is not possible to predict what that force will tell you, but it ought to lead to interesting results.

• Technical note: you've just invented consciousness.

Telecloner

You're limited to sending objects only 0.5 seconds because you only have one telecloner. Wait a minute: you only have one... um, you see where I'm going with this?

You teleclone the telecloner back 0.5 seconds in time ... every 0.4 seconds. So you have a string of these things in some convenient environment (space). Clone a message in the last telecloner that appeared, and it appears right next to the one previous, where it is ready to be cloned an instant after that one appeared, and so on.

TLDR? If you clone the cloner first, the 0.5 second limit goes bye-bye and you can start sending a more general set of information.

• Getting the device in front of itself (the small version) or into the booth (the large version) is tricky, because it works on cosmic string harmonic cancellation (not stated because that doesn’t apply to this question). So the telecloned space has to be a specific distance away from the oscillator. Basically a gun can’t shoot itself, and that principle applies here. Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 21:59
• @VogonPoet That makes it very slightly more trouble, but you didn't think it through. IF the telecloned device DOES work, then the cloned version DID appear at another point in space, from which it CAN shoot itself, causing that cloned version to have appeared. If there's a specific target coordinate in both the future and the past, and they are different, you can still give the device a velocity such that the coordinates all match up where they are supposed to, in order to transmit the payload information as well. Remember -- be excellent to one another! Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 22:49
• Unfortunately (for me, not the problem) I have a very clear understanding of how the vibrations of the cosmic strings become superimposed during quantum entanglement decoupling, which allows leptons to create instantaneous null energy “holes” in the Higgs field. That whole picture goes “poof” if what you suggest becomes possible. I will loose the two people who understand string theory and read my stuff entirely. That’s too big a price to pay. So, no. Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 23:05