Teleportation is a science fiction concept involving the instantaneous displacement of a material object from one place to another. In the context of Life, it refers to jumping a spaceship to a position further along its trajectory than it would normally reach reckoning its nominal velocity. "Instantly" implies superluminal velocity, but there are limitations on the rapidity with which the object can be moved as well as the distance. In fact, the known examples of teleportation require the destruction of the teleportee, the construction of a replica elsewhere, and a non-obtrusive mechanism to accomplish the transfer. Moreover, to ensure causality, the process must depend on the actual presence of the transported object, to avoid having two separate and disjoint activities which are only coincidentally related.
Some steps from the displacement of a lightweight spaceship by Dietrich Leithner's Fast forward force field are illustrated below, wherein it can be seen that the length of the ship's keel limits the distance of the jump.
|step||comment||left: without ship, right: ship present.|
|0||The participants in a teleportation are just meeting but not yet interacting|
|1||Contact having been established, teleportation starts. In the absence of any teleportee, the left glider drifts until generation 6 before interfering with the synthesis started by the other two. Otherwise it joins in with the construction.|
|4||The halfway point.|
|7||Teleportation is now complete; the new ship is released, amid debris although it is a dense phase at which her outline becomes clear. Were there no ship, the traces of the left glider will just barely arrive in time to disrupt the already formed copy.|
|8||A recognizable copy of an oncoming ship has emerged, but the stern of the copy on the left is defective, and the supposed ship will have disintegrated by step 39. At the right, the initial presence of the ship impedes the formation of the protruberance and the ship is on its way, although the field does not settle down and disappear until generation 28.|
Although there is a distinctive jump in the ships position, it does not qualify as superluminal motion because it is not sustained; moreover to be effective it depends on the distance between the bow of the teleportee and the stern of the advanced image. Leithner constructed a Stargate which, by renewing and repeating the force field, can impart an impulse to a whole procession of ships, but they must arrive in synchrony with the field. The refactory period of the force field, the size of the debris cloud, and the ability to create the necessary glider streams in time all affect the design. When the actual distance covered by a designated glider is divided by the number of generations elapsed, the result is no longer superluminal; only apparently so over short stretches.
- Teleportation at Wikipedia