Transfer booth

Transfer booth

The transfer booth is a fictional teleportation technology from Larry Niven's Known Space universe, and other stories. It is inexpensive, with a trip anywhere on Earth costing only a "tenth-star" (presumably equivalent to a dime), and the existence of cheap, common teleportation has greatly altered and homogenized Terran "flatlander" society into a true monoculture.

The transfer booth requires an enclosed chamber at both ends of the transfer, and works at lightspeed. The principles of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum are also in effect; for short distances this is usually not a problem, but for longer jumps around a planet, where the elevation, latitude or longitude of the endpoints differs significantly, energy and momentum compensators are required.

Niven wrote several stories specifically about teleportation, which are not considered part of the Known Space universe. These stories focused chiefly on the effect of teleportation on society at large. In them, the booths came in two basic varieties: "local" and "long distance". The local booths were used for short hops and required little compensation for energy differences, save for potential (due to elevation or altitude changes). As a result they were compact and largely self-contained. The long distance booths required extensive external machinery to absorb the large differences in kinetic energy (due to Earth's rotation). The long distance booths and their associated machinery were typically located at the sites of former airports.

In the Ringworld Series, the Pierson's Puppeteers have networked their planet with 'open' transfer devices called stepping disks, that transport one without the necessary enclosure.

In "Fleet of Worlds", It is noted that the technology behind the transfer booths is licensed from the Pierson's Puppeteer's General Products Corporation.

External links

* [ The Incompleat Known Space Concordance]

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