By Forrest Bishop
I knew what I wanted to do with my life
by the time I was five years old, even before watching the Mercury launches.
It is what I do now. Back then, I spent a great deal of time reading about
space travel and the other things.
Mr. Morin taught my 7th Grade general science class at Bishop
Dagwell Hall (now called Oregon Episcopal Schools).
He talked about all kinds of things, like how soon a computer might rival
a human mind. One day, he asked each of us to just choose something to
do with science that we would like to write a paper about. I spent the
rest of the hour in class daydreaming about how to build a machine like
the ones I had read about in science fiction stories and depicted recently
on a new TV show called “Star Trek”- a matter transporter. I remember
coming up with several different ideas in that hour, but I can no longer
remember what they all were.
The idea I decided to pursue seemed the most technically feasible: to
somehow scan the object at the atomic scale, like a raster-line television
picture, recording the types and positions of all the atoms in it. A computer
would store this data, then send it along by radio wave to the matter
receiver. The atoms of the object would be disassembled one-by-one and
shot out of a particle accelerator of some kind. The receiver would be
the same kind of accelerator running in reverse, to slow the atoms back
down to zero speed. There, a machine would sort out the different atoms,
read the incoming data off of the radio beam, and re-assemble the object
from those instructions. I received an A+ for this paper, titled “Teleportation”.
Much of my later work finds its provenance in that one
hour in Mr. Morin’s class.
Copyright ©1967-2004, Forrest Bishop, All Rights Reserved