Did everyone who ever used the transporter actually die?

By: H&I Staff     Posted: February 21, 2018, 12:22PM

While teleportation isn’t actually humanly possible — at least, not yet — science fiction broached the topic for decades, leaving fans and physicists discussing hypothetical aspects of it. Since teleportation is the preferred method of transportation among Enterprise crew members (imagine how much travel time they save) and Star Trek is one of the most influential science-fiction series, it’s no surprise that fans have broken down what actually happens to the crew’s bodies as they travel through space and time.

A popular theory is that every crew member who has teleported on Star Trek has actually died. This has been discussed time and time again, but Inverse just broke down the technical aspects of it — and we have to say, it makes sense, in our very non-physics-educated opinion.

The video states that since the Star Trek transporters scan your body and dematerialize you, it might not actually be you who is reassembled in the new location. It even notes that Bones, the doctor on board, says that he took his job to practice medicine, not to have his atoms “scattered back and forth across space.”

Though Next Generation producers have claimed that it’s not just data, but a body’s actual molecules that are transported, getting into a transporter doesn’t actually kill you, episodes like "The Enemy Within" from The Original Series and "Second Chances" from Next Generation contradict this idea. However, the video also quotes an actual physicist, Lawrence Krauss, who says, "If the transporter carries both the matter stream and the information signal, this splitting phenomenon is impossible."

What do you think? Was Kirk’s actual body transported all of those times, or has he actually died? Discuss in the comments!