Talk:Transporter (Star Trek)

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Oops. :) (Compensators)[edit]

Well - there you go folks - ST was right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 7 September 2012 (UTC)


It would be nice to know in what episode the Heisenberg Compensator was first mentioned. The Star Trek website seems to suggest that it was in Realm Of Fear (TNG) (see here).

Other transporters topic[edit]

That new topic addresses only a similarity in the fictional universe of the tv series Dr. Who. I wonder whether it's the case of creating a topic, albeit short, whithin this article to discuss an aspect of another tv show that has its own specific article. I believe it would suffice to link the Dr. Who article in the "See also" category (maybe with a direct note to the fact that it features a similar fictional technology). Unless people object, I will proceed to this within the next few days (giving time for a discussion in this page). Regards, Redux 16:20, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Despite the above comment from 2004, the current Wikipedia article still mentions Doctor Who briefly. However, as far as I am aware, the earliest Doctor Who serial to feature a 'transmat' device was the 1965 story, 'The Daleks' Masterplan' (see page 21 in: Though broadcast from November 1965 (see, which was before Star Trek was finally broadcast, The Daleks' Masterplan was written and filmed a few months after the first Star Trek pilot was filmed (see Nevertheless, it's not surprising that this kind of technology featured in two science fiction series, independently of one another, at almost exactly the same time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Irishtown4 (talkcontribs) 11:40, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Unnatural selection[edit]

"A disease affecting Pulaski is cured, and the damage it has done removed, by transporter."

Is it really cured? I had the impression that Pulaski was "remade" with a previous, uncontaminated sample of her DNA. PrometheusX303 20:22, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Transporters in Current time[edit]

I was listening to Paul Harvey today and he mentioned that Physysists in Denmark were able to take a document (single page) dematerialize it (turn it into a ray of light) and rematerialize it 1/2 meter away. Back in 1997, scientists were successful in taking a couple photons of light and transporting it a few millimeters, and in 2002 they were able to do the same, but 55 meters apart, simulating a distance of 2km.
1997 Sources:

2002 Source:

Danball1976 01:41, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Comment removed from article[edit]

Earlier today, a user at IP address added the following to the "Capabilities and limitations" section of the article. I feel it was more appropriately added here, so I cut it from the article and pasted it here without editorial change:

"its interesting how some of these explanations are from the standpoint of being with in the startrek universe cannon while others seem to activly mock star trek also interesting that any storyline a particular individual cant follow or doesnt understand becomes technobabble the simple truth is startrek is a collection of the works of hundreds of different authors so theirs bound to be some incongruities they tie it together when they can.. just try to enjoy it when they cant"

Dave 12:55, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Transporters beaming through shields[edit]

The article mentions that transporters can not beam through sheilds, and then lists a number of times where this was sidestepped through various means. It lists First Contact as being an example of transporting through sheilds. When did this happen? The only time I can think of where an editor might have thought someone was beaming through the sheilds was when the Borg first boarded the Enterprise. It was stated later in dialogue that the Enterprise's sheilds were down when they attacked the Borg Sphere, though I don't think they elaborated on why.--Raguleader 07:56, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

I believe the reference is to when the Enterprise beams the Defiant's crew aboard. --EEMeltonIV 20:02, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Defiant's sheilds were down at the time, and there's nothing to show that the Enterprise did not lower her sheilds to recover Defiant's crew, although they were shown moments before to be taking fire from the Borg, who probably wouldn't stop firing at the Enterprise just because the first shot didn't work (then again, if the Enterprise lowered her sheilds and started transporting crew off a crippled ship, she may have gone down the list of threats and the Borg could have then focused on another ship, but then, this is just fanwanking on my part).--Raguleader 09:04, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
So, is it bad when I read a comment here, think "What the hell is this guy thinking?" and then realize it's one of my own posts?--Raguleader 10:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

The Enterprise could have enveloped the Defiant within her shield bubble, thereby facilitating the transportation of the Defiant crew. A possible explination... ----Willie 10:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Either that, or Enterprise lowered shields on one small spot only, maintaining shields around the rest of the ship, while being unshielded only in the area required to let a transport beam through-- 06:38, 26 March 2007 (UTC).

The reference is to when they pass through the rip in the space time contineum(not sure how to spell it) chasing the small borg sphere. Once they come through the rip they destroy the sphere but the rip affected the Enterprise's sheilds and the borg took this opportunity to transport onto the Enterprise. However, this would not be and example of transporting through sheilds.

The thing is that in the show Voyager they transport through shields in many episodes. This might be explained by the fact that Voyager is a "new model" though they never mention the fact that this is new technology. It is also mentioned that the fact that transporters couldn't transport through shields in every other canon Star Trek story line was "thrown out" by the writers of voyager, though I don't know the validity to this because there was not citation that I could see. Anyway, the point is, it really bothers me that they would throw out such an important feature of transporters in Voyager because this has been a big sticking point and even been the pivot of the plot in particular episodes in other series. I still am enjoying the show, it just rubs me the wrong way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:47, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Transporter rooms & the six spots[edit]

I don't know about the "it's unclear why transporter rooms exist" bit. The transporter room is fairly clearly as much a meeting and preparation room as it is an actual disembarkation point. An away team has to meet somewhere to pick up equipment and undergo a final briefing - it might as well be the transporter room. Additionally, I have always got the impression that site-to-site transport is a relatively recent (as of TNG) innovation, so perhaps transporter rooms are maintained out of institutional inertia.

As for the six spots - if you watch away teams materialise, they are often more spread out than they were on the transporter platform. I think that as well as a single annular confinement beam for the whole platform, each of the six spots has its own dedicated sub-beam, allowing up to six people to be beamed to and from six separate locations simultaneously. They probably use the latter when beaming into unknown situations so that a) the away team don’t materialise in a tight group, where they’d be an easy target, b) the team doesn't have to reassemble in one place in order to be beamed up together, and c) an ACB failure caused by unpredictable conditions doesn’t kill the whole team. Has anyone read the TNG tech manual?Denorios 12:33, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I recall reading in TNG tech manual how transporting from point to point requires more emergy then transporting from the transporter room, which is probably why they are still used. 04:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe that's right as well... I remember something about the duty cycling being twice as long for site to site transports not involving the pad as part of canon, which is why it's only done for emergencies only. As well, the center section of the pad can be used for molecular resolution cargo transportation while the rest of the living people are transported at the quantum level. -- 04:00, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Philosophical questions[edit]

I am not sure I understand what is wrong with the philosophical section. Give me tips and I will see what I can do. RickardV 22:25, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Behind the Scenes[edit]

Can there be a small section on describing how the transporter works behind the scenes PRIOR to using the computer to make the effect. I heard about something to do with optical lens but am not sure about the details. 14:53, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Philisophical questions[edit]

Moved this section of OR to talk page. Please re-add in whole or in part with the addition of citations --EEMeltonIV 05:15, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

The discontinuity of the transported object causes theoretical problems in the metaphysical field of identity.

There are several different problems. One problem, akin to the Ship of Theseus problem, has two parts. First, could someone survive in a dismantled form and survive being "reassembled" using new atoms, or do we need the same atom being transported in a dismantled, piecemeal way? When Captain Kirk is beamed to a planet from the Enterprise, he is disassembled on the sub-molecular level and then reassembled at the destination to create an identical "Kirk." Star Trek canon suggests that the actual atoms are transported through space and reassembled at the final location, but in the real world (and in other sci-fi stories) it would likely be more efficient to simply transmit the information about the atoms themselves and recreate the person using matter already at the destination, assuming the enormous technical hurdles common to both are overcome.

It should be noted that while most humans have distinct memories of events that happened years ago, technically speaking they weren't "there," or at least the atoms that comprise their bodies now were not the atoms that comprised their bodies then. Simple, natural biochemical and physical interactions mean that our bodies are constantly ejecting (mostly through sweat, respiration and excretion) and accepting (mostly through ingestion and respiration) atoms that we are constructed from. The concept of a transporter simply means that instead of occurring over a long period, all your atoms are being replaced immediately.

Another issue arises if a duplicate is made during the transportation process: that is, if the information recorded is used to create not one but two identical copies of the source person. In the TNG episode Second Chances, a duplicate of Commander Riker is created. These scenarios in philosophical literature are called branching-cases, and conflicts with the view that identity is a one-one relation, not a one-many relation. It is interesting to note, however, that from the point of view of quantum mechanics, creating an identical copy of an object is impossible. See quantum teleportation and no-cloning theorem.

Wouldn't identity still remain a one-one relation but in a more specific manner? IE when two people are created they may have had the same identity experiences up to that point, but upon being separate entities they'd have separate identities but only to minor specific degrees. Also, what if there are aliens that are closer to the borg in respect that act as 'one entity' through many bodies, though the borg do have individualism through the comprised pieces, what about telepathic shared bodies as such. As for the quantum impossibility of creating. I didn't read the articles related to identical copy copies of an object impossible, as for technical limitation in life sure, but as far as TNG, wouldn't that not be a problem at all for say, Q.

Derek Parfit in his book Reasons and Persons (1982) uses teletransportation examples to test different intuitions regarding personal identity.

In recognition of these philosophical questions, the Star Trek: Enterprise writers had Emory Erickson allude to these in the dialogue of "Daedalus."

James Blish in his book Spock must die considers the question of whether the person being recreated at the destination has the exact same soul of the person that entered the transported on the other end. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:45, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

The book by James Blish does address that issue somewhat, though, as I recall, the book involved a duplicate being created as well. A more recent example of this sort of metaphysical quandary (not involving Star Trek) figures in the film The Prestige, in which a transporter of sorts is created but creates duplicates, and it is never made clear whether the duplicate or the original is transported.

However, this section does not adequately address the personal identity concern, as I see it, since it claims that the given atoms in a human body are continually being replaced. While this may be true, some sort of support for this claim is necessary. Most human cells are actually younger than the age calculated by the individual's birth date, but certain nervous system cells are not replaced. Now, are their atoms replaced? I wouldn't know. But this seems like something to be elaborated upon before this section is reintegrated. And I would like to see it reintegrated, of course. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


I've just been going through the extras on my Forbidden Planet DVD and the deceleration beams are mentioned as an influence on Star Trek's transporter effects, is this enough to be put in the article? Alastairward (talk) 17:00, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

If it were from Gene Roddenberry then you could put it in as established fact. However, if it isn't, put it in as "<this person> said that ..." with the appropriate reference in <ref>reference</ref> tags. You should include in the reference which DVD it is on, which extra on that DVD and how far into that extra (minutes would work because the statement is going to take a few seconds); just use the counter at the top, which most players provide via a button on the remote. — Val42 (talk) 20:53, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

It's illogical, Captain[edit]

This article criticises the concept of the Star Trek transporter:[1]. Fences&Windows 02:55, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

The Fly[edit]

In the lead we read: "Gene Roddenberry in 1964 had not seen The Fly upon his first draft of 'The Cage', but it was brought to his attention, and this is how the transporter was considered." This really should be explained further (preferably by someone who can provide the citation currently requested at this point in the article). It took me a minute to realize what the connection was, and I've actually seen both versions of that movie. Those who have not seen either version would surely not understand the reference at all. - dcljr (talk) 07:12, 19 May 2011 (UTC)


I see the word "pad" used, but I don't see any effort to formally name the components. Chamber, pod, booth, platform, disc, beam bulkhead? — MaxEnt 12:55, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Removed claim[edit]

The below is a strong claim, which I'm dubious about. Given it's unreferenced, I moved it here:

Notably the first half of the transportation process has been developed and proven by random disintegration of particles at the atomic level. Movement of subatomic particles to a new location is possible with a variety of conventional methods, as long as they don't need to pass through matter. However it is noted that the re-assembly of the components has yet to be confirmed.

-- Beland (talk) 18:35, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Prose Science Fiction[edit]

As usual , no mention that 'matter transmission' was a staple of prose science fiction going back to the 19th century. Became common in written SF by the 1940s. (Way before Forbidden Planet or The Fly.) There may even be 'receiver-less' stories. Early on Roddenberry acknowledged his debt to science fiction literature, but seems to be a detail no one cares about. Odd that Wikipedia contains no entry for 'Matter Transmitter' , that I can find, should be one and a link to it.aajacksoniv (talk) 11:18, 3 September 2013 (UTC)