A senior technician said ‘ it was there, then it wasn’t and then it was somewhere else’

Gene Roddenberry came up with the method of using transporters in Star Trek to transition characters from the Enterprise set to planet landscapes and cities. Landing the starship would be costly as well as time-consuming on screen, and when shooting began, the full-sized shuttlecraft wasn’t ready. That pushed Roddenberry into using a less expensive alternative by incorporating a fade in/out effect. Since then, the transporter has remained a constant Star Trek staple for decades while also inspiring other science-fiction shows/movies and real-world scientists.

While the method of breaking down people and objects into an energy pattern sounds downright scary (we feel you, Bones), researchers have figured out a way to teleport a particle of light just under four miles away. That doesn’t mean humans will be replicating food anytime soon, but it’s a step in the right direction. More specifically, the researchers teleported a photon over a straight line using the fiber-optical cable structure in the city of Calgary.

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