Teleporting in Fiction

If you are going to have teleporting in your book, then there are several possible ways of doing it.

1) Analysing the object or person or thing to be teleported, transmitting the information and making a copy at the receiving end. This is the method that has been reported in the media about teleporting electrons. Anyway there are problems with this:

a) The amount of information involved.

b) What happens if you lose any information – not insurmountable.

c) The most important thing, you’re not really teleporting but you’re making a copy. So what do you do with the original? Do you destroy it and if it’s a person, are you committing murder?

d) Once you get down to the atomic level then according to our current understanding of the laws of physics, you could have problems with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Star Trek in one episode mentioned Heisenberg compensators.

2) Wormholes. i.e. making a short cut between two spaces in space-time. Entirely theoretical and therefore probably the better solution in sci-fi, though there will almost certainly be problems with this but you could write around them. The energy involved does not require a supernova to power it, et cetera.

3) There are other ways using advanced physics to achieve teleport so you could make up your own way of doing it.

4) Magic – all bets are off.

Other things to remember.

Don’t forget that if people teleport, then they will leave a vacuum behind, so it won’t be a silent process. Plus they have to displace the air at the other end somehow or else there will be two sets of matter occupying the same space.

What happens if you accidently teleport into solid matter?

What happens if you teleport to a place far enough away which is travelling at a different speed? Imagine you teleport onto a spaceship travelling close to the speed of light. You would instantly have to accelerate to match the velocity of the ship, which could cause you to get squished unless you have someway of avoiding the problem. This can also be a problem on planets as the planet’s rotation is different at different latitudes.

This article is supposed to get you thinking about different ways of handling teleport of course you may decide to give no explanation at all.

Tom Greenwood is a married father of two living in Edinburgh. He has a Zoology degree and had what he thought was a good idea for a book which he has written in his spare time. He has not done all that much interesting in his life, perhaps now he has written a book that will change.