Forgive me, I'm a late bloomer with regards to the Stargate TV series (loved Universe when originally shown, but never watched SG1 or Atlantis, until now, thanks to streaming services have begun binge watching) Was always a fan of the original Stargate movie. That background aside...

In Atlantis a puddle jumper gets stuck in a gate and it is said that nothing rematerializes at the other end until the entire object passes completely into the event horizon from the origin side. Yet a continuous beam is able to be fired through a stargate to attack the Atlantis' shields and must still be passing into the stargate while the front is emerging from the destination end.

How is this possible? does this not contradict the previous episodes? I know you could argue that the beam is made up of discrete packets of particles (pulses perhaps) but if that were the explanation then there would be no reason why the windscreen of the puddle jumper and the front crew couldn't rematerialize as they themselves were "discrete packets" compared to the puddle jumper's hull.

Is there an explanation in the series that I've missed or is this a plot loophole?

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    Whether something is considered a single composite object or a collection of separate objects presumably depends on how the Stargate is programmed. In the case of the Atlantis gates, designed for use in space, it would certainly be undesirable for crewmembers to be materialized prior to the ship containing them! – Harry Johnston Dec 18 '18 at 4:54
  • Absolutely agree! - However the same should then apply to the entirety of the beam too - it should not begin to emerge until firing has ceased at the point of origin, meaning you could only fire for half of a stargate's cycle, half going in, then the rest of the time for it to emerge. – Andrew Dec 18 '18 at 5:03
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    shrug The whole radio back 'n' forth thing shouldn't work either. But hey... they blew up a sun. – Radhil Dec 18 '18 at 5:04
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    A beam isn't a thing the way a ship or a person is. There are no bonds between the beam's photons or particles, they're all separate things just travelling in the same direction. – Gaultheria Dec 18 '18 at 5:19
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    I disagree that this question is a duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/14523/…. That question asks why there have been instances of things materialising on the other side of a Stargate when still attached by something on the other side. This question asks how an energy beam is able to traverse a Stargate wormhole. The proposed duplicate has a surmised answer, while this question can be answered using the proposed physics set out in Stargate canon. – K Mo Dec 18 '18 at 9:27

In Stargate canon, matter can only travel in one direction through a Stargate, from the dialing Stargate to the receiving Stargate.

When matter enters a Stargete wormhole, it is converted into energy by the outgoing Stargate and reconstituted into matter by the receiving Stargate. Energy does not need to be converted and reconstituted, so can travel freely in both directions.

I'm not sure if a full list of what type of energy work for this exists, but we know electromagnetic energy certainly does. This is why radio signals will work in both directions when linked by an open Stargate.

So by those laws, energy (such as a light beam) is not going through the conversion process at either end that matter does, so is not being held up in the same way.

Why this doesn't allow someone standing in front of an open Stargate to be able to see the other side was never explained to my knowledge.

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    I would assume that normal light just reflects off the surface of the event horizon. It would allow you to see the other side, but visible light bounces off for unrelated reasons. Like how radio can travel through black plastic but light can't, how light can (mostly) travel though a microwave's mesh but microwaves can't. – Grant Dec 19 '18 at 8:53

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