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In Timeline by Michael Chrichton, does a time traveller die during transit?

I've been confused about this because from Chris' point of view of the transit, things seem to end suddenly in darkness (which I took to be death). But then Gordon explains to Stern that at the moment of transit, the travelers from this timeline are destroyed, while exact copies from another universe arrive at the destination.

While all this fictionalized quantum mechanics gives me a migraine, I'm unsure if I am wrapping my head around the details correctly.

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My reading of it is the same as yours. Technically the traveler dies (is destroyed), but an identical copy of the traveler is reconstituted (from another universe) so even the traveler doesn't feel any different. It reminds me of the Steven Wright joke, "I woke up one morning and everything in my apartment had been stolen and replaced with an exact replica."

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