Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Invasive surgery avoided through teleportation or matter-to-energy conversion?

  1. Aug 3, 2007 #1
    Let me begin by saying that I know very little about physics.

    Here is what I would like to know.

    Imagine a scenario where medical procedures were once "invasive" due to cutting, specifically the retrieval of something from the body. But in the future, these retrievals would be rendered less invasive because surgeons could now use some device that would allow the organ/body part to somehow pass through the skin unharmed.

    I am familiar with "Star Trek", but it seems that teleportation is not believable, it is pure fiction. I am looking for a believable method of doing this. I read a little about "gravity waves", that they can pass through things unchanged, but I don't understand their application to the conversion of matter to energy in this situation.

    Could an organ be converted to a gravity wave, pass through skin, and then be usuable?

    In Greg Iles "Footprints of God", the brain was scanned with an MRI and was uploaded to a computer, and essentially the computer became the person. I am concerned about relying upon replication or cloning technology, it leaves too much room for error.

    Could anything in the universe, even in theory, allow something to pass through the skin unchanged? Could a solid matter to energy conversion take place to allow an organ to pass through the skin, to then be converted back? What kind of device could make this happen?

    I appreciate any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper


    You realize, of course, that that book is a work of fiction.

    Allow "something" to pass through the skin? Well, it depends on the "something." Certainly, many neutrino are passing through your skin right "unchanged." Same goes for a lot of different kinds of radiation for the most part.

    But, solid matter, no.
  4. Aug 4, 2007 #3
    It is interesting to think of liquifying a section of the body and then excreting the waste liquid as if it was nothing, especially cancers. This would probably involve the typical "introduce some poison, then activate the poison at the right location with some well-placed laser signaling." These would not be organs, necessarily, but you get the idea.

    - Bryan

    Edit- but this is not matter-to-energy conversion, woops. There are also some other interesting ideas that are possible, like the idea of encoding matter into a signal itself when it reaches ultracold temperatures, but don't ask me about this quite yet ;)
  5. Aug 4, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    As with any medical research, the attempt to do something of this nature bears some possibility (in this case, a huge one) of killing the patient in a gruesome manner. If you could convert a tumour to energy, you'd be looking at an explosion of something between a couple of kilotons and a couple of dozen gigatons of 'ka-boom!'. (e+mc^2, and all that; 25,000,000 kilowatt/hours per gram of matter.)
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Invasive surgery avoided through teleportation or matter-to-energy conversion?
  1. Energy conversion (Replies: 4)

  2. Energy conversion (Replies: 4)