Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering

 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.

--Forrest Bishop

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