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Name: Unknown
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993

How do theories of six-dimensional geometry apply to time? Is there any validity to the transporters they created for "Star Trek: the Next Generation"?

There are theories of the universe that involve dimensions higher than 3 or 4, but they usually do not have any effect on time. These higher dimensions just increase the spatial dimensions, and only in a very minor way. Science fiction, of course, does not have to rely on the silly restrictions of modern physics theories. In principle, one could build some kind of "transporter". However, the only kind I can think of would be more like "duplicators", which would produce a second copy of the object being transported, rather than actually do the transporting. This of course creates all sorts of philosophical problems which Star Trek has chosen not to worry about.

A. Smith

A recent discovery in quantum mechanics has shown that there may be a sense in which "transporting" is different from just copying, so I guess my previous answer needs to be changed. However, this does not have anything to do with the fourth dimension (or higher). The technique is to prepare a pair of coupled quantum systems, then one person takes one of those quantum systems somewhere far away. Next, it is then possible to make a measurement on the local system, transmit the result of that local measurement and reconstitute a new quantum system on the other side. So, if the quantum mechanical properties of a person are important for keeping them alive, then people really cannot be duplicated; but they can (by this means) in principle be transported by sending enough classical information to the other side. Of course, most biologists do not think quantum coherence is at all important for life, and therefore be possible to duplicate living things with enough classical information.

A Smith

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