(Photo: Paramount)Burning Question: The new "Star Trek" movie has stirred up an old debate I have with my friends: are transporter beams ever going to be possible or not?
— M. Dunne
Let's not stop our nerd-out there. Let's go full-on dweeb for a second. And why not? "Star Trek: Into Darkness" debuted this week.
To answer your question — and discuss other "Star Trek" technologies ranging from tricorders to photon torpedoes — we wrangled David Saltzberg, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles — and an advisor for the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory."
That's right. We're giving you yet another "Big Bang"-on-"Star-Trek" mashup. Bazinga me up, Scotty.
We asked Saltzberg about your particular hangup first — transporter beams.
"We've known since the 19th century that light has pressure," Saltzberg points out. "You can make tweezers out of light. People actually are using light to grab things."
In other words: A transporter sometime in the future? Not a completely crazy idea.