Teleporting inside a wall

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Himself
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Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Himself » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:25 pm UTC

For a bit of time now the idea has been bouncing around of what would happen if someone were to teleport inside a wall. Let's ignore how the teleportation would take place. I've only seen or read of this happening in a couple scifi/fantasy scenarios, which have either result in some unfortunate person being fossilized or essentially buried alive. But that seems to involve removing the part of the wall that the person's body now occupies.
Since the arrangement of atoms in a person's body is random with respect to those in the wall, it seems we would find a lot of atoms that end up overlapping. Based on some of the factors I've thought of, I'm figuring the result might be an explosion. First, there's the fact that you would have some atomic nuclei that have been stuck very close to each other. At an example, I did a calculation with two oxygen nuclei stuck 10 pm apart. If I did the calculations right, the electric potential energy of such a setup would be about 900,000 kJ/mol. But I'm not sure if enough nuclei would end up close enough to each other to produce an explosion.
Second, if you shove two atoms together such that their electron clouds overlap, I'd figure those clouds would release quite a bit of energy to reach a more stable state. Considering that chemical energy is essentially the result of changing electron configurations, I think teleporting inside a wall would not leave much of the unfortunate victim or the wall.
How does this sound then? Am I totally off?
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby sevenperforce » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:21 pm UTC

The implication of teleporting someone into a wall typically does seem to be that the stuff previously existing inside the wall is magicked out of existence. One would typically assume that a sufficient margin of separation exists to prevent any disastrous effects from taking place along the victim-wall border.

Of course if you would like to obey conservation of energy then you need to get rid of the stuff previously inside the wall. Brick or concrete is about twice as dense as a human[citation needed], and humans are about 785 times denser than air[citation needed]. So if you convert ~200 kg of mass in the wall into energy and then convert roughly 0.25% of that energy into 127 grams of nitrogen and oxygen to replace the vacuum left by your victim's body at STP, you're left with 1.68e12 kilojoules of energy, about the same as a 400 kiloton nuke. So yes, you'd have an explosion all right.

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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby thoughtfully » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:44 pm UTC

Details count. But it isn't magic if you can answer "how does that work". There will be an explosion if the two volumes are coerced into occupying the same space, from the same forces that normally hold them up against gravity. It could be a large and powerful explosion if the transfer happens quickly, or it may amount to simply shoving material aisde, if done slowly. There could be an implosion, however, if the two volumes simple exchange places, and the wall is made of heavy material and finds a large cavity within itself.
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Whizbang » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:51 pm UTC

What is the difference between teleporting someone into a wall and teleporting them into air? There is still a random distribution of atoms, chances are good there is overlap in either case. The difference of a few atoms overlapping vs billions doesn't seem to matter when we're talking nuclear fusion and/or fission will occur in either case. Either way, someone's ending up dead by catastrophic events.

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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Himself » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:03 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:What is the difference between teleporting someone into a wall and teleporting them into air? There is still a random distribution of atoms, chances are good there is overlap in either case. The difference of a few atoms overlapping vs billions doesn't seem to matter when we're talking nuclear fusion and/or fission will occur in either case. Either way, someone's ending up dead by catastrophic events.

Well, given that the wall is a few hundred to a few thousand times denser than air depending on what it's made of, we could be talking a few orders of magnitude difference. I'm not sure how much nuclear fusion you would get in this case, since the nucleus of an atom takes up such a tiny portion (about 1 billionth) of the atom's total volume. Since the human body and most building materials are made primarily of elements lighter than iron, nuclear fission would actually absorb energy.
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:13 am UTC

Still, it's worth considering that a magic teleportation device that can't carve out a hole in a wall probably can't carve out a hole in air, either, and the person being teleported is dead either way simply from having a bunch of random inclusions shot through them. Deader in the case of the wall, certainly.

How much energy would the fusion of that one billionth of the atoms put out? I'd worry about the resulting atoms, but again, this person just ate their volume in wall, it's probably not sensible to worry about possible microscopic doses of poisoning at this point.
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Mechatherium » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:51 am UTC

Here's some interesting--and often humorous--possibilities:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TeleFrag

Rory: Where's Nephew?
Amy: He was standing right where you materialized.
The Doctor: Ah. Well... He must have been redistributed.
Rory: Meaning what?
The Doctor: You're breathing him.
— Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife"

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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Himself » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:25 am UTC

Not sure if my back-of the envelope calculations were right, but it seems energy due to electrostatic nuclei would actually be quite small. On the order of 0.1J if we consider nuclei that end up within 10 pm of each other. Someone may want to check that, though.
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drachefly
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby drachefly » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:54 pm UTC

In Stargate, ring teleporters swapped their contents.

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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby cphite » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:12 pm UTC

My guess is that you explode in a cloud of blood, guts, and whatever the wall is made of.

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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby oxoiron » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:21 pm UTC

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)."-- Mark Twain
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby chionophile » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:35 pm UTC

Blue jaunt?

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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby eternauta3k » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:51 pm UTC

While we're asking this sort of question... what happens if you teleport a region of *space* (not just the matter inside it)?
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Whizbang » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:31 pm UTC

To answer that question you have to know what happens when two spaces occupy the same space.

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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby thoughtfully » Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:21 pm UTC

To make predictions, you need a model/theory, not just "magic".
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby Forest Goose » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:27 pm UTC



That brings back a lot of fond memories - time for nostalgia gaming, I suppose. Thanks for that :-)
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Re: Teleporting inside a wall

Postby oxoiron » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:08 pm UTC

You're very welcome. Enjoy!
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