The Transmat

A speculation on the future of transport.

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We have all seen films about the future, especially space travel, where the main means of traveling short distances is by using a matter transmitter. This device is supposed to break down the structure of matter and send it to a remote place in the form of radiation and then re-assemble the matter. This is supposed to pose no difficulty to machines or human beings of biological construction.

I suspect that the inspiration came from the theory of relativity where it was shown that matter had an energy equivalent and nuclear physics where matter and energy are regularly interchanged.

I have speculated on how this might be done in practice and although its actuality is far in the future, I will try here to outline the basic physics of a possible process.

Matter is composed of particles such as protons and neutrons, these have a mass and therefore an energy and so there is radiation equivalent to them. It is known that when two energetic photons collide a particle pair such as an electron and positron can be created, indeed this is the principal mechanism for the loss in flux of high energy gamma rays. So is it possible for a proton and electron to be created by the collision of gamma ray photons?

I suggest that particles (say) an electron, are composed of two photons travelling in opposite directions, trapped by their effect on the surrounding space. In other words their energy curves space around them so that the radiation cannot propagate. Radiation trapped by gravity. Nearly a black hole. Now if another photon of the same wavelength collides with an electron then one of the internal photons would be cancelled leaving the other photon free to leave the area. This is the decomposition of matter and its propagation as radiation. If this photon collides with another one of the same wavelength then the particle could be reconstituted.

This is the principle of the matter transmitter. In the practical device a beam of gamma rays is passed into the matter to be transmitted and the matter is then decomposed into photons. Another beam is sent from the machine to intersect these photons and the matter is reconstituted.

Here particles at X are transmitted to Y by a transmat machine at 0. There should be a relation between the angles A,B,C and the frequencies in the photons of the beams OX XY and OY. Probably a simple E1sin(A)=E2sin(B)E3sin(C) type of relationship. Where the Ej is a wavelength.

I repeat this is pure speculation, I have no idea how to generate coherent beams of gamma rays of the required complex waveform.

I hope this essay will amuse viewers, it has worried me since watching "Star Trek" and reading the "Eagle" a long time ago.

Chris Strevens (C) 1980