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Discrepancies in Star Trek science
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jaden101
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
Which is complete rubbish. It his simply a plot device only. There's no reason that something that can turn energy into matter and do it perfectly, molecule by molecule, that we end up with a sub-par replication. If replication wasn't perfect, then transporting wouldn't be, either, and we'd end up with absurd deformities...but that was worked out 2 centuries before Star Trek TNG.


I submit to you that the idea that dilithium cannot be replicated is rubbish


1: How can it be a plot device for Voyager when it was established before Voyager was even concieved of?

2: Noone said it can't be replicated. It just ends up being low quality and thus can't generate the same kinds of speeds that natural dilithium can. No different from the fact that artificial diamonds are of lower quality than natural diamonds in real life.


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Old Post Jun 22nd, 2009 07:48 AM
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Mindship
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
Even though it's the future and it's Sci-Fi, I can still demand that they not be illogical for the sake of plot.
Another one...

The transporter was not part of Roddenberry's initial vision; it came later to address budget problems that would've accompanied showing the Enterprise landing on a planet each week. Not only did the inception of the transporter reduce the budget, but it also moved the story better, getting Koik and Spock in deep doodoo ASAP.

Problem: it also should've been able to get them out of trouble just as quickly...but then, where's the dramatic tension? So, either the aliens had to be advanced enough to block the transporter with a forcefield, or they had to be primitive enough to sneak up on our intrepid heroes, hit them over the head and snatch their communicators (God forbid the tricorder should've had some kind of proximity warning system -- a logical precaution when exploring an unknown planet).

Of course, TOS' biggest transgression against logic was the fact that -- virtually every week -- the commanding officer went down to take care of business, dragging his second-in-command with him.

I wonder if Kirk'n'Spock 90210 will do better.


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Old Post Jun 22nd, 2009 12:03 PM
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Darth Martin
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Isn't there a limit on how long a starship can go max. warp?

Old Post Jun 22nd, 2009 12:08 PM
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Mindship
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Darth Martin
Isn't there a limit on how long a starship can go max. warp?
There is. But the point is, why? Given what Trek tech can do, why are there limits which are little more than extrapolations from today's far inferior machinery?

From a footnote on page 17 of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual"...

"Given the existence of the matter replication devices...a very logical question is: 'Why can't they just replicate entire starships?' The real reason is that such an ability would allow us to create entire fleets of starships at the touch of a button. This might be great for Federation defense and science programs, but makes for poor drama."

Of course wink one could argue: it is highly unlikely that matter replication is 100% perfect, so something has to be lost in the transport process, even with people, though the difference is apparently insignificant.

But dilithium may be different. As matter it is unique, in that it doesn't react with antimatter in the usual way. This may make dilithium especially tough to replicate, ie, what's lost in the process is in fact significant.


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Old Post Jun 22nd, 2009 09:22 PM
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Symmetric Chaos
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I think anyone suggesting that one replicate a starship in one go is dramatically underestimating how gigantic they really are.


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Old Post Jun 22nd, 2009 11:00 PM
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Kinneary
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The point is, the tech in Trek is way more advanced than any technology we have, and therefore any misunderstandings about why things work the way they do can be simplified to 'You don't understand the mechanics involved because our understanding of science isn't advanced enough.'

Boom. Answer. Done.


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 02:32 AM
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dadudemon
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
1: How can it be a plot device for Voyager when it was established before Voyager was even concieved of?


Odd. I don't remember saying that writers of Voyager made it up or that the writers of Voyager had a choice in the matter. In fact, they used existing PIS canon to strand Voyager. I am unsure what this point was about. Was it just general info and you were just throwing it out there?

So you don't think I'm talking out of my ass, I was the first to mention the excuse from TNG of inferior dilithium crystals.


Also, this:

"I knew all of the information in this thread, already, EXCEPT the time and math around 9.975."





quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
2: Noone said it can't be replicated. It just ends up being low quality and thus can't generate the same kinds of speeds that natural dilithium can. No different from the fact that artificial diamonds are of lower quality than natural diamonds in real life.


And no one is denying that it was stated. However, I am calling it rubbish and bullshit for this "rule" to exist as it goes against the grain of logic.

And artificial diamonds are not made, from pure energy, and arranged, molecule by molecule, either. If replicator technology actually existed, we could make artificial diamonds bigger and harder than naturally occurring ones.










The point of this thread was excellenty grasped by Mindship. In fact, he brought up other points that are in the exact same vein of logic as the point of this thread.






And, Mindship, misplace a few atoms and it can kill a person. Misplace a few atoms and it can cause someone to lose their memory. Misplace a few atoms, and it will cause mutangenic cells....i.e. cancer.


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Last edited by dadudemon on Jun 23rd, 2009 at 08:53 AM

Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 08:45 AM
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Mindship
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
And, Mindship, misplace a few atoms and it can kill a person. Misplace a few atoms and it can cause someone to lose their memory. Misplace a few atoms, and it will cause mutangenic cells....i.e. cancer.
Bullship. I shed atons every dy...and Im fyne.


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Last edited by Mindship on Jun 23rd, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 10:57 AM
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Mindship
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And now, just to be a PITA...

I contest your claim that a few missing or misplaced atoms is a significant difference. Yes, critically poised, the missing atoms may start some kind of cancer, but I submit that the odds of this happening are minuscule. Consider...

The body is constantly making copies of itself on a cellular level. The process isn't perfect: that's one of the reasons we age or develop things like cancer. But for the most part, it works pretty darn well.

Now, why isn't the process perfect? What is? It's just basic physics that systems degrade (I'm really oversimplifying, but too bad stick out tongue ).

Accordingly, the transporter/replicator system can't be perfect because that would violate entropy. Hence, my reasoning that this error amplifies when replicating unique materials stands.


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 01:48 PM
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jaden101
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
Odd. I don't remember saying that writers of Voyager made it up or that the writers of Voyager had a choice in the matter. In fact, they used existing PIS canon to strand Voyager. I am unsure what this point was about. Was it just general info and you were just throwing it out there?

So you don't think I'm talking out of my ass, I was the first to mention the excuse from TNG of inferior dilithium crystals.


Also, this:

"I knew all of the information in this thread, already, EXCEPT the time and math around 9.975.

And no one is denying that it was stated. However, I am calling it rubbish and bullshit for this "rule" to exist as it goes against the grain of logic.

And artificial diamonds are not made, from pure energy, and arranged, molecule by molecule, either. If replicator technology actually existed, we could make artificial diamonds bigger and harder than naturally occurring ones.

The point of this thread was excellenty grasped by Mindship. In fact, he brought up other points that are in the exact same vein of logic as the point of this thread.

And, Mindship, misplace a few atoms and it can kill a person. Misplace a few atoms and it can cause someone to lose their memory. Misplace a few atoms, and it will cause mutangenic cells....i.e. cancer.


You seem to be getting really angry about it. Why?

All they would need to do is write a reason for it. Something in the molecule that fluctuates and that the heisenburg compensators can't fix.

Replicator technology doesn't use pure energy anyway. It stores mass and resequences it dependant on what is requested.

There's also differences between replicator and transporter technology that mean transporters can arrange an object exactly where-as a replicator can't in some instances. This is because the transporters work at the quantum level and replicators only work at the molecular level. So materials which are complex at the quantum level can't be replicated. Many real life materials exhibit strange quantum properties such as electrons which fluctuate between different shells. Radioactive substances which throw off ionizing particles etc.


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 04:06 PM
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dadudemon
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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 10:50 PM
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dadudemon
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
Bullship. I shed atons every dy...and Im fyne.


But you don't lose data in the form of DNA, or get data changed because a transporter doesn't piece you back together correctly.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
And now, just to be a PITA...

I contest your claim that a few missing or misplaced atoms is a significant difference. Yes, critically poised, the missing atoms may start some kind of cancer, but I submit that the odds of this happening are minuscule. Consider...

The body is constantly making copies of itself on a cellular level. The process isn't perfect: that's one of the reasons we age or develop things like cancer. But for the most part, it works pretty darn well.

Now, why isn't the process perfect? What is? It's just basic physics that systems degrade (I'm really oversimplifying, but too bad stick out tongue ).

Accordingly, the transporter/replicator system can't be perfect because that would violate entropy. Hence, my reasoning that this error amplifies when replicating unique materials stands.


See my above post.


And how are memories stored on our neurons?


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 10:51 PM
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Symmetric Chaos
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
But you don't lose data in the form of DNA


That's not quite true. Your DNA is being torn apart and rebuilt all the time.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
And how are memories stored on our neurons?


Apparently in a way that transporters don't mess up.


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 10:53 PM
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Mindship
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
See my above post.
Let me ask this way: Are you saying replicators operate with 100% efficiency (and not just within a tolerable margin of error)? If so, then yeah, making more dilithium should be do-able. But (I would argue) Trektech is not that advanced; I don't think it can build an infallible machine (hell, even Nomad f*cked up).


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 11:07 PM
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dadudemon
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
You seem to be getting really angry about it. Why?


That's rather strange. I don't read anger at all in my post. Not a single bit of it. I apologize if it came off that way.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
All they would need to do is write a reason for it. Something in the molecule that fluctuates and that the heisenburg compensators can't fix.


Then transporter technology would kill most "alive" organic life.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
Replicator technology doesn't use pure energy anyway. It stores mass and resequences it dependant on what is requested.


It most certainly does. Replicators are repurposed transporters. It converts the matter into energy and then makes that energy into whatever matter is requested.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
There's also differences between replicator and transporter technology that mean transporters can arrange an object exactly where-as a replicator can't in some instances.


Okay. I'll buy this and go with it. Replicators are like the "made in China" version of transporter technology. Cool. I can "feel" this.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
This is because the transporters work at the quantum level and replicators only work at the molecular level.


Okay. I'll buy this, as well. This works for me.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by jaden101
So materials which are complex at the quantum level can't be replicated. Many real life materials exhibit strange quantum properties such as electrons which fluctuate between different shells. Radioactive substances which throw off ionizing particles etc.


Right. I'm cool with this explanation.





Now, onwards to something else.




If your idea were correct, why hasn't anyone thought of "upgrading" replicators in the almost 2 decades they have been widely used?

Here's why:

Matter to energy. There's you're energy for the system as it is the most efficient form of energy you can get. (e=mc^2)

Make an uber replicator to make perfect dilithium crystals, ship parts, etc.



There's not reason they shouldn't have replicators that can replicate entire ships.



Just convert enough mass into energy and convert that and resquence it into matter. There's more than enough matter to convert into energy for the transporter/replicator systems.


Upgrade from the molecular level to the subatomic level, and, presto, you have an nearly unlimited energy source as well as matter source. That also means that we've avoided heat death. smile



The fact is, they wrote a very retarded plot hole into the series by coming up with transporters and replicators.


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 11:09 PM
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dadudemon
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
That's not quite true. Your DNA is being torn apart and rebuilt all the time.


You can't make that point as if I weren't aware of it.

Hell, I am the one who mentions telomeres at any chance. big grin


And, no, the DNA is not being torn apart, it is being replicated and the chromosomal bodies are being pulled apart into daughter cells via cytokinesis. This process is so efficient that it takes almost a life time for humans to reach the Hayflick limit.



quote: (post)
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
Apparently in a way that transporters don't mess up.


My question wasn't relative to transport technology, but about actual science. I think you know why I'm asking...






quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
Let me ask this way: Are you saying replicators operate with 100% efficiency (and not just within a tolerable margin of error)? If so, then yeah, making more dilithium should be do-able. But (I would argue) Trektech is not that advanced; I don't think it can build an infallible machine (hell, even Nomad f*cked up).



Not really. But the margin of error would have to be like .0000000001% or something absurd as each transport would degrade the body's integrity past a critical point and people would start to develop cancers or, as I stated earlier, start to mutate. sick


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 11:17 PM
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Mindship
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
Not really. But the margin of error would have to be like .0000000001% or something absurd as each transport would degrade the body's integrity past a critical point and people would start to develop cancers or, as I stated earlier, start to mutate. sick

So then, what if dilithium's tolerance is even harder to meet? After all, it is (and I quote), '...the only material known to Federation science to be nonreactive with antimatter when subjected to a high-frequency electromagnetic field in the megawatt range...'

Sounds like one-of-a-kind, hard-to-replicate eigenvalues to me.


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Old Post Jun 23rd, 2009 11:58 PM
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Symmetric Chaos
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by dadudemon
My question wasn't relative to transport technology, but about actual science. I think you know why I'm asking...


Well to the limits of my, quite prodigious, knowledge that is still largely a mystery.


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Old Post Jun 24th, 2009 12:40 AM
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dadudemon
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
So then, what if dilithium's tolerance is even harder to meet?


Could be...but unlikely as it's a crystal. Structure should be much easier to predict with math.




It is far more likely that it is a far simpler structure than, say, all of the diversity in an organic body like a human's. It's the property of the matter that gives it its effect.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
After all, it is (and I quote), '...the only material known to Federation science to be nonreactive with antimatter when subjected to a high-frequency electromagnetic field in the megawatt range...'

Sounds like one-of-a-kind, hard-to-replicate eigenvalues to me.


Sounds like they wrote themselves into a plot hole with replicators and transporters, to me.




Warp drive and any derivative of transportor technology are all much too far ahead for the 25th Century of Star Trek.

Phasers...meh. They could exist.


Shields. Meh, they are working on stuff similar (though ridiculously far removed)...300 years is more than enough time to advance enough to that point.


Interactive holographic doctors. Other than the doctors having the ability to physically affect things, not too far off.



Etc. etc.



Having a machine that can convert an entire human into energy, move that energy a specific distance at the speed of light, and then resequence the matter so specifically as to not disrupt the biology of that person, while keeping everything in tact about that human (mind/spirit), that's a bit far fetched...right? Maybe we can do it in the future...who knows.





More on topic, the crystals would be really easy to replicate. They just need a plot device.


In over a hundred years, no one thought to upgrade replicators to be on par with the precision of a transporter, or use the transporter technology to convert matter directly into energy...you know, what the dilithium crystal facilitates. no expression


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Old Post Jun 24th, 2009 12:45 AM
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Symmetric Chaos
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So wait, you buy that they have a crystal which is made of matter but doesn't explode on contact but you don't buy that it might be really hard to make?


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