Teleportation

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Teleportation is the transfer of matter from one point to another, more or less instantaneously. Teleportation is used widely in works of science fiction and fantasy.

Contents

Etymology

The word teleportation was coined in 1931[1][2] by American writer Charles Fort to describe the strange disappearances and appearances of anomalies, which he suggested may be connected. He joined the Greek prefix tele- (meaning "distant") to the Latin verb portare (meaning "to carry"). Fort's first formal use of the word was in the second chapter of his 1931 book, Lo!: "Mostly in this book I shall specialize upon indications that there exists a transportory force that I shall call Teleportation." Fort added "I shall be accused of having assembled lies, yarns, hoaxes, and superstitions. To some degree I think so myself. To some degree, I do not. I offer the data."[3] Fort suggested that teleportation might explain various allegedly paranormal phenomena, although it is difficult  to say whether Fort took his own "theory" seriously or instead used it to point out what he saw as the inadequacy of mainstream science to account for strange phenomena.

The word teletransportation, which simply expands Charles Fort's abbreviated term, was first employed by Derek Parfit as part of a thought exercise on identity.

Future possibilities and ethics

Dematerialising

One means of teleportation proposed in fiction (e.g., The Fly, Star Trek) is the transmission of data that are used to reconstruct precisely an object or organism at its destination. However, to travel from one point to another instantaneously (faster than light travel) is today believed to be impossible. The use of this form of teleportation to transport humans would have considerable unresolved technical problems, such as recording the human body with sufficient precision to allow reproduction elsewhere (because of the uncertainty principle, among other things).

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