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Our tax dollars now tell us that Star Trek's "transporters" are not possible.


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320 replies to this topic

#1 of 321 Jack Briggs

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Posted February 10 2005 - 07:23 AM

I can't believe that the USAF even spent $25,000 on this:

Transporters not practical.

#2 of 321 Seth--L

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Posted February 10 2005 - 07:31 AM

I can't believe that the USAF even spent $25,000 on this:


That's a bargain. The Pentagon will spend billions (that's with a *B*) to develop some new tank, plane, missile, etc. only to scrap the project because they suddenly realize it won't be cost effective or finally admit it doesn't work.
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#3 of 321 Kenneth

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Posted February 10 2005 - 07:38 AM

I think it's time to form my own corporation "Golden Ticket Inc" so I can study whether we can use Wonkavision to beam people across the world.

I agree the amazing part is this ONLY cost $25,000. Usually they would pony up the 7 mil a year for such a complex project Posted Image

Kenneth

#4 of 321 Dave Poehlman

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Posted February 10 2005 - 07:40 AM

Cripes! I could've told them that for half the price.

#5 of 321 Micheal

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Posted February 10 2005 - 08:15 AM

Damn! I was really hoping to get one for my bathroom.

Oh well...
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#6 of 321 Christ Reynolds

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Posted February 10 2005 - 08:36 AM

never thought i'd ever see a moderator start a thread with "our tax dollars..."

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#7 of 321 Ron-P

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Posted February 10 2005 - 08:47 AM

Quote:
Damn! I was really hoping to get one for my bathroom.

Imagine, I could transport crap from uranus to the bowl without even getting up outta my chair.

So our government wastes money, tell me something I don't already know.
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#8 of 321 Dan Mc

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Posted February 10 2005 - 09:00 AM

So why is this a bad thing? Like has been mentioned, this is an extremly small amount of money for the DOD. This was only a commisioned paper study to gague feasibility, it's not like they spent millions trying to build something. I hope they are investing in many other future technologies as well.

#9 of 321 Joe Szott

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Posted February 10 2005 - 09:27 AM

$25K is a joke.

Basically, they paid a Ph.D in Physics for 3 months of time to watch Star Trek, attend geek conventions, and then spend 2 weeks phoning in an essay about a 100 reasons why this crap is obviously impossible. The guy is out there laughing in his Tron suit even as we type our responses, more power to him I say.

I'm afraid to ask how much money the govt has spent looking into "phasers", I'm sure it's a damn sight beyond $25K.

#10 of 321 Kenneth

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Posted February 10 2005 - 09:43 AM

Quote:
I'm afraid to ask how much money the govt has spent looking into "phasers", I'm sure it's a damn sight beyond $25K.

If one were to lump "phasers" in with energy weapons then it is probably more valid research since various energy weapons are within our technological grasp currently.

Conversion of matter (transporters), faster than light travel, and anti-matter power are more of a stretch since they would rely on technologies and laws of physics we don't currently have access to (assuming they would ever be more than Sci Fi fantasies).

I find it fascinating that they gave a contract to a company with "Warp Drive" in the name. That would already seem to be a dead give away. Maybe "Federation Technologies" or "Romulan Inc" were already working on the Phaser project Posted Image

Incidently, I am surprised it took them 47 pages to explain why it wasn't possible (talk about padding). Since the laws of physics standing in their way are fundamental laws you could explain it in a page Posted Image

Kenneth

#11 of 321 ChristopherDAC

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Posted February 10 2005 - 11:01 AM

One of the more obscure branches of mathematics, Transfinite Number Theory, suggests that it should be possible to instantaneously transpose objects from one point to another without requiring them to pass through the intervening distace, but the techniques are as-yet unimaginable and the energy cost is supposed to be quite high.

#12 of 321 Malcolm R

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Posted February 10 2005 - 11:21 AM

Given the billions wasted on NASA, this is pocket change.
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#13 of 321 Brad Porter

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Posted February 10 2005 - 11:32 AM

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Given the billions wasted on NASA, this is pocket change.

I probably shouldn't acknowledge your statement at all, but can you clarify which dollars you consider "wasted" and which you consider well spent - or is it your claim that all NASA funding is a waste. In a thread started by Jack, this is the sort of thing that truly needs clarification.

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#14 of 321 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted February 10 2005 - 12:00 PM

It's probably an SBIR project - small business innovative research. You apply for the grant money and they give it to you pretty easily. I did one for the Air Force back in the 1980s. In fact I had to turn up at Wright-Patterson myself to report on my findings.

See www.sba.gov/sbir/ for how to get started on your own project. Jack could try one on cat hair injection in old British bikes.
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#15 of 321 Brian Harnish

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Posted February 10 2005 - 12:44 PM

Well, I'll be -- talk about something that's a part of basic physics and can be found in just about any basic theoretical physics book!! All they had to do was spend $24.95 and buy a book that can tell you that. I don't claim to be a Physics Grandmaster, but I've read several different books by Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Michio Kaku, Richard Feynman, Kip Thorne, et. al. And even *I* know that!! Posted Image

What next? We'll be "...spending $30,000 on a hammer, and $100,000 on a toilet seat..."?! Cripes!

^obligatory film quote entered. Posted Image

#16 of 321 Kevin M

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Posted February 10 2005 - 12:54 PM

....so they discovered that if a fly get's in the transporter with you.........you get to bang Geena Davis.....
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#17 of 321 Joseph J.D

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Posted February 10 2005 - 01:08 PM

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....so they discovered that if a fly get's in the transporter with you.........you get to bang Geena Davis.....



......and have a real bad skin rash.Posted ImagePosted Image
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#18 of 321 Steeve Bergeron

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Posted February 10 2005 - 01:36 PM

Quote:
So why is this a bad thing? Like has been mentioned, this is an extremly small amount of money for the DOD. This was only a commisioned paper study to gague feasibility, it's not like they spent millions trying to build something. I hope they are investing in many other future technologies as well.
I agree.

I think some of you should not be so sarcastic and ironic. There are a lot of things that were considered ridiculous, if not impossible in the past (you don't have to go back very far), that are very possible now. Who can really say without any doubt whatsoever if this or that is impossible in a near or not so near future? Nobody can. Our current science is not that evolved yet.

#19 of 321 RobertR

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Posted February 10 2005 - 03:07 PM

Quote:
There are a lot of things that were considered ridiculous, if not impossible in the past (you don't have to go back very far), that are very possible now. Who can really say without any doubt whatsoever if this or that is impossible in a near or not so near future?

Me. It does not logically follow that because X proved possible, that no one can say that anything else is impossible. NO one will be building perpetual motion machines, for example.

Not in the near OR the far future.

#20 of 321 Kenneth

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Posted February 10 2005 - 09:26 PM

Quote:
I think some of you should not be so sarcastic and ironic. There are a lot of things that were considered ridiculous, if not impossible in the past (you don't have to go back very far), that are very possible now. Who can really say without any doubt whatsoever if this or that is impossible in a near or not so near future? Nobody can. Our current science is not that evolved yet.

Except the rules here are very fundamental. To break this down, here are the key elements that I can see. We'll just cover the problems with sending a tank, since sending biological things raises even more questions:

1. Law of Conservation of Energy - Basically since you cannot create matter or energy you will have to use energy to convert matter to energy and energy to convert the energy back into matter. Our current understanding of this is that Energy and matter are related using Mister Einstein's basic equation E=mc2. This would be a large of amount of energy conceivably.

2. Heisenberg Uncertainty principle - Before you can transport matter you would need the capability to replicate matter. This would require you understand the makeup of an object at the molecular level. According to Mister Heisenberg you change things through the act of observing them (you can measure an atomic particle's velocity or position, but not both). This would make it difficult to map an object of matter in sufficient detail so that you could recreate it at the molecular level.

3. Entropy - I am pretty sure this is going to come into play in the question of transporting the energy. Keeping your signal free from errors would be critical. Even a single molecule restored incorrectly could create problems. You would have to reconstruct trillions and trillions (at least).

I think these laws are basic enough that it doesn't take a rocket scientist (pun intended) to determine that where matter transportation is concerned we are way out of our league. As an aside, note that in Babylon 5 (which had some good science advisors) even the Vorlons and Shadows didn't have technologies involving matter trasportation. I think although appealing from a sci fi perspective, this particular technology is more fiction and less science.

Cheers,

Kenneth


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