1
$\begingroup$

A scientist finally develops an accurate and safe way to teleport matter - even living one - to a defined spot. He does so by typing in three coordinates, which, in meters, define the target position of the teleported object relative to the teleporter. The scientist, being a scientist, of course tests his device, sending things to very close and very far places. He then tries to teleport mice into a block of glass, thinking this could be by far the best method for mummification ever invented.

What should happen, scientifically speaking? I don't think the atoms of the mouse will replace the atoms of the glass, so something else must happen, there shouldn't be enough space for both... Which would also mean that when teleporting an object normally, it would have to react with the air similary, if not less vehemently.

Would a human body survive materializing into air? What would happen with the molecules scattered in his body? If he doesn't survive, is it because of loss of organic function or a more "explosive" death?

$\endgroup$

closed as unclear what you're asking by sphennings, Frostfyre, Secespitus, Cort Ammon, L.Dutch Sep 21 '17 at 15:05

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That very much depends on how your teleporter works. Does it simply moving the atoms of the object to a said coordinate? Swap it? $\endgroup$ – Vylix Sep 21 '17 at 14:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You may want to read worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/21050/34288 for advantage and disadvantage of using absolute and relative referential system for your teleportation. $\endgroup$ – Vylix Sep 21 '17 at 14:11
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Unless we know how your flavor of teleportation works we cannot make any meaningful guesses about what would happen when someone is teleported into a solid object. Please edit your question to contain this information. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Sep 21 '17 at 14:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ To @sphennings point, there's literally dozens of theories on how teleporters could work, and each handles this situation in its own way. Some will refuse to teleport. Others swap the space, resolving the issue. Others shove stuff out of the way. Others literally vaporize everything in the destination location before transporting. Even if we assume your teleport causes both objects to "overlap," that's an environment where the laws of physics result in very different results for slightly different implementations of how the matter got there. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Sep 21 '17 at 14:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I do believe that if you just picked a way for this overlap to resolve, it is highly likely that what you pick would be a well entrenched choice with lots of source material from other books and worlds to draw from. In that light, you might want to change this to a reference-request. Pick what you want the overlap to do, and request books and movies which exhibit that behavior so you can research them! $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Sep 21 '17 at 14:57
4
$\begingroup$

It is open to how the author wants to write it, but the way I've always thought of it as swapping places. The object being teleported would have a 3D "shadow" of where they are going and anything in the way (air or glass or brick or water or whatever) would appear at the teleporter.

This would fix the problem of rapid vacuum collapse where the object was on the teleporter and instantly turns into empty space. A human sized perfect vacuum would cause lots of problems for your teleporter and anyone close by once it collapses, and you wouldn't have a teleporter much longer with that kind of stress. This would mean that your mouse would be alive inside a very tight mouse shaped hole inside the glass and you would end up with a perfectly shaped glass mouse. Granted if only you don't make a buffer area around the object being teleported.

Another little other problem that often come up with these single teleport to anywhere type of teleporters is that we are in constant, high-speed motion. Where you are right now and where you are right now (a few milliseconds later) is quite different on a universal scale. So if you were to move something 5 meters to the right you would have to do so absolutely instantly, if there's any delay then where that matter ends up is going to be very messy. This is easily fixed with the second "destination" teleporter or as you've pointed out keeping it relative to your machine.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is another way of avoiding the vacuum collapse at the transmitter. Send the subject in a stream of atoms not all at the same time into a space filled with atoms that are not themselves too rigid to move out of the way. (Most likely gas.) The drawback of course is you can't teleport unless there is space to ease in the subject. The upside... this may possibly violate less of the laws of nature than the immediate materialization. (Not much less, but at least it won't kill the subject or anyone standing at the transmitter... so there's that.) $\endgroup$ – Doomfrost Sep 21 '17 at 14:45
2
$\begingroup$

If you are interested in actual science, teleportation is likely to remain impossible forever due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, as well as other problems in the required physics.

In a science fiction world, it is fiction, you are allowed to make up however you would like it to work. In addition to some of the other answers, you can ...

Have teleportation simply fail to occur when transporting into a solid object (could not get a transporter lock in Star Trek)

Hand-wave all the other problems and simply have the mouse appear entombed within the glass.

Require a receiving chamber for teleportation and have the receiving chamber verify no solid object is encased.

Do the movie "The Fly" and mix the two objects together in arbitrary ways as suits the story.

Have a massive explosion as loads of unstable atoms will appear as the nucleus of some atoms will be overlayed on top of each other -- although the volume occupied by the nucleus is very small as a percentage, the reactions will be very violent in some of these cases. The remaining electromagnetic interferences will rip the rest of the material apart, likely equivalent to a similar mass of explosives.

Bring in the mouse, out-of-phase (whatever that means) perhaps until the mouse frees itself from the glass tomb -- for some reason out of phase objects can still use the floor for walking around, will passing through walls.

Bring in the mouse to the closest available free space. Closest may mean distance, energy levels, or something else. This may or may not do violence to the mouse.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

What exactly does your teleportation do with atoms on destination point? There are multiple scenarios I see:

1) Annihilates atoms to create enough space for teleporting object.

Unless you find a way to do that without turning all off annihilated mass into energy, your mice won't be mummified - it would be charred. The block of glass would be pretty hot too.

2) Swaps places with atoms of teleporting object.

This one is pretty close to your mummification scenario. You'll have a mice stuck in glass and a piece of glass shaped like said mice. That is if your teleportation device teleports solid and liquid objects, but not gases, otherwise you'll have a block of glass shaped like a teleportation chamber and an air-pocket with mice inside glass.

3) Just moves atoms of glass away.

That would probably shatter your block of glass.

4) Mixes atoms of mice and glass together.

A classic "telefrag", although I'm not sure it's even possible.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

What should happen, scientifically speaking? I don't think the atoms of the mouse will replace the atoms of the glass, so something else must happen, there shouldn't be enough space for both... Which would also mean that when teleporting an object normally, it would have to react with the air similary, if not less vehemently.

Yes. For this reason, the most likely way to make it work is that the teleportation actually swaps the two volumes of space (but I do agree with @sphennings - you ought to tell us first how exactly the teleporter works).

Otherwise, the teleporter requires a receiver working in high vacuum - you enter into a disposable airlock, and the airlock is teleported together with you.

A small number of stray atoms or air molecules effectively materializing inside a body would be more or less equivalent to a very light radiation dose. A higher number would lead to tissue damage, with electrostatic reactions "pushing" the intruding atoms and the molecular lattice having to reorganize to fit them in. Not so problematic in liquids, possibly harmful in solids (like bones and teeth) or in sensitive tissues (e.g. the cerebral cortex).

The teleportation might even not work if the target volume is too densely populated; this would be key to reducing the chances of it being used as a weapon, by teleporting lead bullets inside enemy materials and bodies. "Reducing", since teleporting a bomb inside an empty cellar might remain doable.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

You are on a right track. But different direction.

There are no "mouse" or "glass" atoms. There are atoms. And you know, they made up things.

Teleporting matter into matter use the matter that is already there (because conservation of energy and so on). Glass and mouse have different density so there would be more atoms "on the spot" than needed. The additional ones would be moved into different place or reused into creating simplest elements that could take the same space so the atoms per cubic millimetre (or inch) would be constant.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.