Here Is There

This is another post which has fallen through a wormhole from the future, since the device in question won’t be invented until well into the 9th millennium.

But since they’re going to appear before too long in Timeo Eldraos et Dona Ferentes, it is probably best that they be mentioned here first.

What is important to understand where the Claves-Catala translocator is – or to give it its more common name, translocation rings are – concerned is that they do not utilize any of the classically theorized methods of teleportation. (The Indeterminacy Barrier and its corollary, the uncloneability lemma, prevent matter-information conversion with sufficient fidelity for accurate reproduction in a manner not amenable to bypass by subquantum operators, and handling the energies of significant volumes makes the use of mass-energy conversion impractical.) Nor do they make use of wormhole technology, fixed or dynamic, whose necessary mass and relationship with the metric stress tensor is inconvenient for neighborhood deployment.

Rather, translocation rings make use of matter editation techniques to perform an interlocked exchange on the mass-energy within two volumes; an exchange which does not violate the uncloneability lemma, since while the quantum states of the volumes are exchanged, neither becomes known or determinate in the process.

From this principle of operation, many of the limitations and properties of translocation rings proceed. Since the core of their functionality is an interlocked exchange at the ontic level, it follows that there can be no unidirectional translocation; that each translocation operation necessarily involves the bidirectional exchange of identical hyper⁶spheres. Energy and momentum are conserved, but for the purposes of calculating the necessary compensation and buffering that must be provided by the ring-sets, the hyper⁶spheres may be treated as ontomathematical points.

(Obviously, the necessity of bidirectional exchange implies that each set of translocation rings is, of that necessity, a transceiver; and thus those most fantastic notions of translocation without equipment at one or both ends of the operation can safely be left in the reams of the pulps, as can any concern over the possibility of interpenetration; at no point and in no conceivable failure mode can the hyper⁶spheres collapse into a samespace.)

Likewise, there is no intrinsic limitation on translocation range, save for the required energetic compensation and the necessity that the ring-sets involved be precisely synchronized in all respects, which necessitates communication, and thus range becomes primarily a matter of the allowable communications delay before synchronization fails. It is this necessity for communication that largely imposes the Luminal Limit upon translocation de facto. Nor can there be any alteration of the mass-energy in transit, since indeterminate states cannot be edited, nor do they exist, in any technical sense, during the tesseral moment of transition.

Ambient pressure, temperature, et. al., are not compensated for by the system, and in most cases this simply leads to the characteristic ‘sigh’ of translocation, as the higher or lower air pressure of the translocated volume evens itself out with an outbreeze or inbreeze, respectively. (Indeed, nor is atmospheric, etc., chemistry, which can lead to the amusing sight of, for example, a perfect cylinder of water flashing briefly into existence along with a diver before collapsing under its own weight and flowing away, while at the other end of the process a similar bubble of air undergoes the reverse to the surprise of the fish.) In large translocation grids, wayshrines – the traditional name for the buildings containing public translocation rings – whose environment differs significantly from the local standard are usually enclosed and environmentally sealed, to avoid inconvenience and unpleasant incidents.

All this, of course, is of little relevance to the typical user of translocation rings, whether independent pairs or part of the translocation grid, who need merely stand within the volume defined by the ring-set and activate it – with, in the latter case, the minor additional task of selecting a destination set in advance.

– Theory and Praxis of Translocation,
Riëdal Claves-ith-Claves & Jancis Catala-ith-Catala,
Practical Insight Publishing (8124)

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for grall grall says:

    Hm. Now why does the above remind me so much of the discussion between Twilight and Moon Gleam at the beginning of Friendship is Sufficiently Advanced Chapter 9 ? :wink:

    To wit:

    The discussion could be heard approaching long before those having it were in sight.

    “…you really can’t do that? I thought you used a similar technique to get here?”

    “Yes, but I needed two stargates each the size of a small moon to do it. And they use wormholes, and you can’t have been using wormholes because the drift equations get rapidly chaotic in bent space-time. Even a short distance jump on the planet’s surface would have turned us both to quark fog. Give me the short explanation of yours?”

    “Okay! So, the matter doesn’t move at all. You define your departure and arrival volumes as fivespheres in sixspace encompassing the pieces of threespace you want to move, and then you can exchange them along the free axis at minimal energy cost, swapping the threespace volumes. The matter comes along with it. But there’s more to it -”

  2. What happens if the spacetime curvatures at the translocated volumes don’t match up? Translocating from near an event horizon to interstellar space is an extreme example but it would still apply to a lesser degree when translocating between planets since even seemingly flat spacetime is slightly warped, wouldn’t that distort the geometry of the hyperspheres enough that they aren’t identical?

  3. As an amateur earthling physicist, I’ve got two theories. If the underlying space is also swapped in the transfer, I’d say the difference in hypersphere geometry is probably dissipated as gravity waves or something. If the underlying space weren’t, I’m not quire sure what would happen, if anything. The objects would be hyperspatially distorted relative to the local environment, but I’m not sure that’s qualitatively different from moving around continuously in an existing gravity field, just more abrupt.

  4. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    Well, y’know, no sense in using two pieces of phlebotinium where one will do the job. :grin:

    [In that particular shardverse, it is probably safe to assume that you can trace key elements in the design of the translocation rings and probably also the frameslip (“friendship”) drive to Twilight.]

  5. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    @JHPrime’s first theory is pretty much correct. To quote myself

    Energy and momentum are conserved, but for the purposes of calculating the necessary compensation and buffering that must be provided by the ring-sets, the hyper⁶spheres may be treated as ontomathematical points.

    …and this is another case where you can treat them as ontomathematical points, such that the curvature of space-time within the hyper⁶sphere isn’t really relevant for the (effectively instantaneous) transfer; if it is notably different between one and the other, you get discontinuities at the border of the hypervolume which collapse immediately in a gravity wave splash. This effect isn’t usually enough to do more than make travelers queasy in those cases where it’s particularly high.

    (On the other hand, if you tried using a ring-set which was near a (small) black hole’s event horizon, or the surface of a neutron star, or the edge of a wormhole throat, or other places where gravitic and tidal forces are particularly strong, and overrode all the safety systems, the results would be a lot more messy.

    On the gripping hand, those are generally pretty unhealthy places to be, period, so it’s not like it would make you any deader in the slightly longer run.)

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