Replicators use portable high energy particle accelerators which bombard the object with Kreger particles in order to get a 'composite' view. The object's pattern is then sent to the memory of a computer. The object is resolved at a quantum level. Further, the data must be compressed using a lossy algorithm, meaning that small, undetectable approximations are made to the data. This gives the computer a pattern to create a duplicate of the original. Starships and Starbases have a small supply of bulk material that is constantly recycled into needed materials and items. When a request is made at a replicator terminal, the waveguide conduit system on the ship relays a small amount of bulk material to the replicator, which uses it to create the materials called for in the pattern. The object is then beamed in at the terminal.
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