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Teleportation

Sure, it didn't vaporize people like thalaron radiation did. But when Captain Kirk and the Star Trek crew needed to escape, they jumped into the teleporter. Kirk just stood on a platform, and this wickedly cool machine mapped every atom in his body. It sent information about the atoms by light waves (just like the Internet sends information by radio waves) to a new place. In the new place, machinery received the information about Kirk's atoms and rebuilt Kirk.

In real life, scientists have teleported objects: a photon and a laser beam. But there are big barriers to teleporting humans. First, as Kevin Bonsor points out in How Teleportation Works, we'd need to find and describe all 1028 atoms in the body, which we can't do. Second, to reassemble the person, we'd need to put each atom in the right place and make sure it had the right properties. A tiny imprecision could be deadly.

This means no beaming your soldiers behind enemy lines, much less "telefraging" someone by teleporting things directly into his physical coordinates.

If you'd like to keep your atoms, read on for a weapon on a much larger scale.

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