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Time Travel and Teleportation

Teleportation Prototype

Teleportation Prototype (Photo credit: Gilderic Photography)

Time travel is the jumping to another point in time without passing through the intervening points in time. That sounds a lot like teleportation, the jumping to another point in space without passing through the intervening points in space. Scientists have talked about the possibility of teleportation, and one theory holds that it’s possible, though the means of teleportation is to deconstruct you in one place and construct you again in the other. Now my knowledge of physics is limited to one college course and watching episodes of NOVA, but it seems to me that if you can deconstruct and reconstruct objects and people to teleport them across space, that you could add in an element of time as well. The same process should allow you to not only teleport across space but also across time.

If the process of teleportation included both space and time elements, the concepts of locally or universally relative time travel that I wrote about in my previous post don’t seem so important. When you ¬†time travel, you would not only take into consideration where in time you want to go, but also where in space. Or to flip it around, when you want to teleport, you would not only take into consideration where in space you want to go, but also where in time.

Suppose we build a combination time travel teleportation device. We’d need to have two of them, right? One at the departure time and place, and one to receive the traveler at the destination time and place. But wait a minute, maybe we’d only need one device. Since we are including a time component, we might have time to move the device to where it needs to be later. For instance, suppose you want to teleport from New York to Los Angeles, from today in New York to tomorrow in Los Angeles. You start out with your time travel teleporter device in New York. You need a friend to help you out, someone to operate and move the device for you to Los Angeles. You get into the machine in New York today, and the operator sets the dials appropriately and activates the device. You disappear from inside the device. Now the operator moves the device to Los Angeles and sets it up there to receive you. The operator only has one day to move the device and get it set up, since you’re scheduled to arrive tomorrow. If everything goes smoothly, you appear in the device at the designated time and place, in Los Angeles the day after you left New York, inside the same device you occupied the day before. The machine didn’t jump through space or time, but you did.

Teleporting to a place in the past instead of the future gets a little tricky. You have to jump back in time to wherever the device was located in the past. Doable, but you need to plan your jump back before you make it.

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