Sabine Hossenfelder admits that “The problem has kept her up at night for decades, she says, and it appears we are no closer to an answer”
Why so difficult?
Assume that all the information about a person is contained in the exact configuration in which it appears at one moment in time. Hossenfelder accepts that as the correct view. So the transporter converts you into a different medium, putting all your life processes on pause. But then what?
She notes that “strictly speaking, the only way to copy a system elsewhere would require you to also reproduce its entire past, which isn’t possible.”News, “Physicist: Does Captain Kirk die going through the transporter?” at Mind Matters News
But there’s another reason you might not be able to read out the information of a person without annihilating them in that process, namely that quantum mechanics says that this isn’t possible. You just can’t copy an arbitrary quantum state exactly.Sabine Hossenfelder, “Does Captain Kirk die when he goes through the transporter?” at BackRe(Action) (October 23, 2021)
In a multiverse, she notes, an infinite number of transporters may produce an infinite number of Captain Kirks, some of which may be exact replicas. If a multiverse exists. Otherwise,
The sci-fi version:
Takehome: The key problem: The transporter might require us to abandon the idea that we have a continuous self to begin with. Many won’t go there. Alternatively, it will never happen.
You may also wish to read: Theoretical physicist: Colonizing Mars is a ridiculous idea! Making Mars habitable (terraforming) has been kicking around engineering circles for decades. What are the chances, given Moore’s Law-level increases in technology? Sabine Hossenfelder points out that the Mars’ biggest habitability problem is lack of a magnetic field and no plausible technology solution is in sight.