Here’s a fun article: THE TERRIBLE TRUTH ABOUT STAR TREK’S TRANSPORTERS
There is, admittedly, some ambiguity about precisely how Trek’s transporters work. The events of some episodes subtly contradict events in others. The closest thing to an official word we have is the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, which states that when a person enters a transporter, they are scanned by molecular imaging scanners that convert a person into a subatomically deconstructed matter stream. …
After which the article goes into great detail about why there is some doubt about whether this is the correct, honest explanation. I must say, it sounds to me like transporters are not quite the innocent technology they seem.
I’m certain I read a SF novel where transporters created a mind-imprinted clone of the user at the distant location. In this story, the original was not destroyed, so rather than think of it as transportation, the user knew he would be cloned. After that, the two (or three, or four) copies of the person would go on about their separate lives, gradually becoming less similar as divergent experiences occurred.
What book was that? Does that ring any bells for any of you? It would have been published at least thirty years ago, most likely more. I was thinking it might have been by Philip Jose Farmer, but I’m not finding a title of his that rings a bell other than the World of Tiers, so I guess it was someone else.
Anyway, I missed the episode where it became clear that Star Trek transporters much work the same way, but the Riker copy makes it clear that they do — only with destruction of the original. Wow, that’s a questionable form of technology, that’s for sure.