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Discrepancies in Star Trek Science
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dadudemon
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Shocked Discrepancies in Star Trek Science

First Ush, then Raoul suggested this thread.




Since two mods liked the idea, I figured, what they hey.











First, a slight recap:


In the other thread, I brought up and we discussed transporter technology and dilithium crystals. The writers, in an effort to have something to write about, said that dilithium could not be replicated because of it's unique nature. Replicated dilithium did not support as stable of a anti-matter/matter reaction and degraded faster.

Here's the problem: Why don't they repurpose some or all of the replicators to be more perfect like a transporter? Replicators are basically, a cheap version of transporters. Due to the nature of replicators, they are not as "perfect" as a transporter. Under normal circumstances, a transporter is almost flawless. One small flaw, down to the subatomic level, could cause disastrous effects to an organic life-form. Therefore, the transporters are very accurate on their replication. So accurate, in fact, that there is a profile, down to the atom, for every person "beamed". This allows the transporters to automatically remove microorganisms that may come back with an "away team."





Someone suggested (Jaden) that the transporter computers are much weaker than the transporter computers, thereby limiting the ability to replicate as perfectly as a transporter. I disagree, as the replicators should be tied into each ship's main computer along with a plethora of "mini-cpus" working in tandem with all the other computers. We do know that quite a bit of power is required to use a transporter: during battle sequences, the computer is working fast, the shields are draining large amounts of power, the weapons take a lot of power, and this leads to power having to be diverted to the transporters in some episodes. So we know it takes quite a bit of power. However, there's no reason processes could not be mutli-threaded with the ship's central computer. Saying that the replicators themselves would require too much processing power is rubbish. Surely 400 years into the future, we've though of even better methods of mutli-threading processes? Reality, processing power is not a problem. Energy COULD be as voyager was limited on using the replicators.





So we can assume 2 things:


1. Replicators need to be upgraded to be able to replicate dilithium crystals.

2. Transporter technologies, which includes replicators, require at least a significant portion of energy.












Here's another point:



Why wouldn't the Federation go ahead with the uber upgrade to replicators, making them as efficient as transporters, and replicate dilitihium?


Why don't they make MASSIVE replicators. Replicators large enough to replicate entire ships?



If processing power is the problem, replicate tons of specially designed central computers that can be tied together, similar to multi-processing mother boards in servers.

They work in tandem to provide the processing power to use this very large building sized replicators to replicate ships.



Where do they get the matter to "convert" into other forms of matter? EVERYWHERE!




There is also NO NEED for dilithium. Here's why: Replicators convert matter to energy and then back into matter. That energy stream is the person, moving at the speed of light.






Then why can't they completely eliminate the dilithium technology and use just a special transporter that converts matter directly into energy instead of using a less than perfect e=mc^2 dilithium matrix interaction? It is no secret that the interaction is imperfect. Of course, it is nearly perfect. I think it's close to 99% efficiency...or something like that. It still is not perfect. That would be a new energy supplier for the entire ship. Technologies already exist that convert energy into specific forms, such as phasers. So it is a no brainer making devices that act as "transformers" to turn the energy generated from the special energy producing transporters into various useable forms throughout the ships.





let's recap:


1. Upgrade replicators to be like transporters so dilithium can be replicated, sparing the need to find it and harvest it.


2. Create massive replicators, that have also been upgraded to be as efficient as transporters, to replicate entire ships.

3. Repurpose the ships energy systems to run on matter converted direclty into energy from transporter technology instead of the less than perfect dilithium matrix interaction.

4. Tie all other energy systems into the new "energy-transporter" system to utilize perfect matter to energy conversation.


















Please, everyone, think of other things, just like this, that you think could better improve the logic of Star Trek. Criticize their technologies. Tear it down. Build it up. Etc. I know that I am not the only one who has problems with some of the less than perfect technology writing that occurs in Star Trek.


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Old Post Jul 21st, 2009 07:36 PM
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Symmetric Chaos
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Other, worse, examples. Ships travel at FTL speeds but they never tell us how they're getting around either relativity or causality. Second impulse engines seem to be either reactionless or hyper-efficient which really should make them weapons of mass destruction on a scale we can scarcely imagine.


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Old Post Jul 21st, 2009 07:59 PM
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dadudemon
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
Other, worse, examples. Ships travel at FTL speeds but they never tell us how they're getting around either relativity or causality. Second impulse engines seem to be either reactionless or hyper-efficient which really should make them weapons of mass destruction on a scale we can scarcely imagine.



Expand on both of these, greatly, please. I think you're on to something, but I can't derive enough from your posts to understand where you're coming from.


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Old Post Jul 21st, 2009 08:39 PM
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Symmetric Chaos
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
Expand on both of these, greatly, please. I think you're on to something, but I can't derive enough from your posts to understand where you're coming from.


Point one: If you travel faster than light you have to violate either relativity or causality. Either Einstein was wrong (about relativity) or causality is wrong. Mostly I was poking a bit of fun at your complaint that they never explained certain things. However of the ways to fix these problems most of them contradict things shown consistently on screen or make things much worse.



Point two: Let's ignore the reactionless drive problem and demonstrate the kind of weapon a impulse drive would be just based on what we've seen.

They have a device that can move 4,500,000 metric tons (Galaxy-Class) at a substantial fraction of light speed.

Let's limit it to 0.5c which the ships have been clocked at more than once.

If the math here is right (and I have on good authority that the equations are):
Ker = ((1/sqrt(1 - P^2)) - 1) * M * 9e16 (P is speed as fraction of c, M is mass in kg)

Ker = ((1/sqrt(1-.5^2))-1)*4500000000*(9*10^16)

Ker = 6.26537*10^25

So about 6.2e25 joules of energy would be released if a Galaxy class ship hit a planet. This also means that an impulse engine is an energy weapon of equivalent power (enough to rip the atmosphere off a planet the size of Earth). From this it follows that a reactionless engine is worse, in fact it is infinitely more powerful.

Needless to say, aggressive aliens should be danger to planets not to single ships.


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Last edited by Symmetric Chaos on Jul 21st, 2009 at 10:10 PM

Old Post Jul 21st, 2009 10:01 PM
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It's come to my attention that impulse drive might be as slow as 2.5% the speed of light. This makes the power of a Galaxy-class ship's engines merely the equal of the Tunguska event for every few seconds of operation.


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Old Post Jul 21st, 2009 10:13 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
Ships travel at FTL speeds but they never tell us how they're getting around either relativity or causality. Second impulse engines seem to be either reactionless or hyper-efficient which really should make them weapons of mass destruction on a scale we can scarcely imagine.
An impulse engine is basically a fusion drive coupled with a "compact space-time driver coil, similar to those standard in warp engine nacelles, that would perform a low-level continuum distortion without driving the vehicle across the warp threshold." This enables a fusion drive to "move a larger mass than would normally be possible by reaction thrust alone, even with exhaust products accelerated to near lightspeed."

Impulse speed can be as high as 0.75c. And in case you may ask...

"Experimental results with exhaust products temporarily accelerated beyond lightspeed yielded disappointed results, due to the lack of return force coupling to the engine frame." (whatever that means)

As for the FTL, relativistic effects are avoided due to the 'fact' that the ship -- relative to its immediate space -- is not moving near lightspeed, but rather is being pushed along with a series of warp fields acting peristaltically. Not sure what this means either, but it sounds like the warp drive "swallows" the ship forward via a series of spatial distortions which, themselves, are moving FTL.

Right.

Causality? Totally ignored in the Trekverse.


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Old Post Jul 22nd, 2009 02:11 PM
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Symmetric Chaos
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
An impulse engine is basically a fusion drive coupled with a "compact space-time driver coil, similar to those standard in warp engine nacelles, that would perform a low-level continuum distortion without driving the vehicle across the warp threshold." This enables a fusion drive to "move a larger mass than would normally be possible by reaction thrust alone, even with exhaust products accelerated to near lightspeed."

Impulse speed can be as high as 0.75c. And in case you may ask...

"Experimental results with exhaust products temporarily accelerated beyond lightspeed yielded disappointed results, due to the lack of return force coupling to the engine frame." (whatever that means)


Doesn't explain why no one uses it to create hypervelocity missiles.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
As for the FTL, relativistic effects are avoided due to the 'fact' that the ship -- relative to its immediate space -- is not moving near lightspeed, but rather is being pushed along with a series of warp fields acting peristaltically. Not sure what this means either, but it sounds like the warp drive "swallows" the ship forward via a series of spatial distortions which, themselves, are moving FTL.

Right.

Causality? Totally ignored in the Trekverse.


Well it sounds like they're trying to justify it with a special frame, which almost makes sense but not really.


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Old Post Jul 22nd, 2009 02:47 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
Doesn't explain why no one uses it to create hypervelocity missiles.
I've wondered why they never used 'singularity bombs': take any mass, warp it to lightspeed (or near cee? or maybe FTL?), then suddenly pop the warp bubble. Be kind of like Flash's infinity mass punch.

quote: (post)
Well it sounds like they're trying to justify it with a special frame, which almost makes sense but not really.
Zactly. I luvs technobabble.


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Old Post Jul 22nd, 2009 03:17 PM
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Symmetric Chaos
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
I've wondered why they never used 'singularity bombs': take any mass, warp it to lightspeed (or near cee? or maybe FTL?), then suddenly pop the warp bubble. Be kind of like Flash's infinity mass punch.


Warp drives are pseudo-velocity. If you pop the warp bubble motion stops completely because it didn't exist in the first place. Impulse drives are the dangerous ones because they let the ship accelerate to high speeds in real space.


I came up with a way to use special frame FTL without resulting in singularity bombs. First we accept that relativity is true on a macro-scale. Next posit that a special frame can be created at a Planck level. So we create innumerable special frames and accelerate to extreme speeds under what has basically become purely Newtonian physics. To prevent a singularity bomb I add in the catch that the special frames must be turned off bit by bit so a ship traveling at relativistic speeds will be ripped to pieces, scattered in all directions.

Ta da!


Of course that doesn't apply to Star Trek.


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Old Post Jul 22nd, 2009 06:37 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
I came up with a way to use special frame FTL without resulting in singularity bombs. First we accept that relativity is true on a macro-scale. Next posit that a special frame can be created at a Planck level. So we create innumerable special frames and accelerate to extreme speeds under what has basically become purely Newtonian physics. To prevent a singularity bomb I add in the catch that the special frames must be turned off bit by bit so a ship traveling at relativistic speeds will be ripped to pieces, scattered in all directions.

Ta da!


Of course that doesn't apply to Star Trek.
The only thing I really liked about Trek's propulsion was the term, 'warp drive'. Very cool.

I see an interesting story in that special-frames FTL, if I'm correctly understanding it.


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Old Post Jul 22nd, 2009 06:54 PM
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COOL!

I'm loving the conversation between you two.


Right..I never felt Kosher with the way the describe warp drive, especially when you consider Cochran being pushed back into his seat and flipping out when he used his warp drive for the first time. Where did all of that acceleration come from if the warp drive is basically using a multidimensional "om nom nom" to propel the Phoenix forward in regular "4d" space? There should have been no inertial differential, if I'm understanding warp fields correctly.


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Old Post Jul 23rd, 2009 06:58 AM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
Right..I never felt Kosher with the way the describe warp drive, especially when you consider Cochran being pushed back into his seat and flipping out when he used his warp drive for the first time. Where did all of that acceleration come from if the warp drive is basically using a multidimensional "om nom nom" to propel the Phoenix forward in regular "4d" space? There should have been no inertial differential, if I'm understanding warp fields correctly.

I suppose one could say the warp effect wasn't entirely perfect, so some planck-scale inertial differential slipped through. But certainly by the time you get to starships warping about routinely, there'd be even less to near-zero acceleration effects, in which case, why are there inertial dampers? (alright, you still need them for impulse power) And if there are inertial dampers, why does inertia still exist intra-ship?
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Old Post Jul 23rd, 2009 01:27 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
COOL!

I'm loving the conversation between you two.


Right..I never felt Kosher with the way the describe warp drive, especially when you consider Cochran being pushed back into his seat and flipping out when he used his warp drive for the first time. Where did all of that acceleration come from if the warp drive is basically using a multidimensional "om nom nom" to propel the Phoenix forward in regular "4d" space? There should have been no inertial differential, if I'm understanding warp fields correctly.


That's Rule of Perception for you.

But one possible explanation is that the warp field uses gravity control in some way (we don't know of anything else that alters the shape of space). An early model like Cochran's, given it was built out of spare parts, would likely have tons of problems to smooth out with the systems.

The other possibility is that Cochran's warp drive needed to be going at high speed in order to activate, a common limiting factor for SciFi FTL devices. The lack of oomph in later drives could then be explained by just installing better inertial dampers.


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Old Post Jul 23rd, 2009 02:00 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
That's Rule of Perception for you.

But one possible explanation is that the warp field uses gravity control in some way (we don't know of anything else that alters the shape of space). An early model like Cochran's, given it was built out of spare parts, would likely have tons of problems to smooth out with the systems.

The other possibility is that Cochran's warp drive needed to be going at high speed in order to activate, a common limiting factor for SciFi FTL devices. The lack of oomph in later drives could then be explained by just installing better inertial dampers.


LOL


Yup. There's at least time that I can remember that the inertial dampeners were not turned on and it killed all of the crew when the ship jumped to warp. Kerrsplat. I think it was DS9. Of course, we didn't see it on screen.


But how does that even make sense when the ship isn't traveling, it is the space around them that travels. lol


I don't even know if I'm making sense.


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Old Post Jul 23rd, 2009 09:35 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
LOL


Yup. There's at least time that I can remember that the inertial dampeners were not turned on and it killed all of the crew when the ship jumped to warp. Kerrsplat. I think it was DS9. Of course, we didn't see it on screen.

But how does that even make sense when the ship isn't traveling, it is the space around them that travels. lol


That suggests the acceleration to some speed before entering warp, idea. Obviously it doesn't make sense to need intertial damping when using the warp drive (because they're using pseudo-velocity).

Ultimately I think what this tell us is that the ST writers didn't really think everything out all that well.


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Old Post Jul 23rd, 2009 11:30 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
That suggests the acceleration to some speed before entering warp, idea. Obviously it doesn't make sense to need intertial damping when using the warp drive (because they're using pseudo-velocity).

Ultimately I think what this tell us is that the ST writers didn't really think everything out all that well.


Indeed.


It was two different ideas from two different people on the same technology.


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Old Post Jul 24th, 2009 12:32 AM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
Ultimately I think what this tell us is that the ST writers didn't really think everything out all that well.
Some things may be so difficult to technobabble away it isn't worth the effort, eg, the presence of intra-ship inertia when the dampers are on. Even if one says the dampers are "micro-vector dependent" (they don't effect any intra-ship movement out of line with the "dominant macro-vector", ie, overall ship direction), it doesn't quite cover all bases.


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Old Post Jul 24th, 2009 12:10 PM
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It occurs to me that we the warp drive actually does create paradoxes. The Picard Maneuver is based on the warp drive causing the ship to be in two places at once.


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Old Post Aug 2nd, 2009 02:25 AM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
It occurs to me that we the warp drive actually does create paradoxes. The Picard Maneuver is based on the warp drive causing the ship to be in two places at once.


They weren't physically in two places at once. It was only in one place.


It is similar to Someone raising their arm in the air and screaming at a person 800 yards away. They see the arm raised and can see that they are yelling, but they don't hear it until about 2 seconds later.


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Old Post Aug 2nd, 2009 04:12 AM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
It occurs to me that we the warp drive actually does create paradoxes. The Picard Maneuver is based on the warp drive causing the ship to be in two places at once.

Like Da was saying, it's actually not. The premise is that the ship A is one place, then accelerates to warp in another place, closer to ship B. The light from Ship A in the 2nd location reaches Ship B faster than the light from the 1st location, so it appears that there are two ships, when in reality there is only one.


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