Date 15 Aug 93 184338 GMT Subject Not the Technical Manual NOT THE TECHNICAL MANUAL CONTEN

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From: phipps@chopin.Physics.McGill.CA (Martin Phipps) Date: 15 Aug 93 18:43:38 GMT Newsgroups: Subject: Not the Technical Manual NOT THE TECHNICAL MANUAL CONTENTS 1) INTRODUCTION 2) WARP SPEED 3) DISTANCES 4) WARP DRIVE 5) "DROPPING OUT OF WARP" AND "CONTINUUM DRAG" 6) SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND TIME DIALATION 7) GENERAL RELATIVITY 8) TIME TRAVEL, "LINEAR TIME" AND CAUSALITY VIOLATION 9) TRANSWARP, WORMHOLES AND SUBSPACE CONDUITS 10) SUBSPACE 11) "FULL IMPULSE" 12) PHASERS AND DISRUPTORS 13) TRANSPORTERS 14) HOLODECKS 15) CLOAKING 16) STARDATES 17) CONCLUSION 1) INTRODUCTION This file is intended to summarize some of the discussion that has gone on in this newsgroup. I think it adequately shows that there is a lot more to Star Trek technology than that which appears in the ST:TNG Technical Manual. 2) WARP SPEED The following warp formula was given by Greg Berigan: for a given warp factor W, speed = W^(10/3)+(10-W)^(-11/3) in units of the speed of light. This is an imperical fit to the curve given in the ST:TNG Technical Manual. As Jason Hinson recently pointed out, the curve given in the Technical Manual is canonical because in "The Most Toys" Wesley gave a distance, time and warp factor consistant with it. The following section on distances also lends credence to this formula. (TOS warp went by a W^3 formula.) 3) DISTANCES Marcus Lindros recently gave a summary of what is known about distances as described on Star Trek. To summarize his summary: 1. Gamma Hydrae (mentioned in TOS: "The Deadly Years" and "Star Trek II") is 130 light years from here. This then is the approximate distance to the Romulus and Kronos. Thus, it takes less than four months for the Enterprise to travel there from earth when travelling at warp 6. 2. Of the all the real stars mentioned on Star Trek all but three (Mintaka, 2500 light years; Deneb, 1900 light years and Rigel, 900 light years) are within 200 light years away from our sun. 4) WARP DRIVE A plausible explanation as to how warp drive works was posted by Christopher Petit (if I recall correctly). The idea was that the warp field that is prgduced and surrounds the ship is asymmetrical and that the rhape of the warp field determines the speed with which and the direction in which the ship travels. 5) "DROPPING OUT OF WARP" AND "CONTINUUM DRAG" We know from "Brothers" that if the Saucer Section were to separate from the Warp Drive then the Saucer Section would "drop out of warp" (Picard) The explanation is that the warp field has to be maintained continuously or else it would "decay" and the ship in question would drop to sublight speed. The inadequacy of this explanation is clear if one remembers that Newton's First Law of Motion states that an object an object in motion will tend to remain in motion unless acted on by an external force. This force is then, clearly, the same force that prevents the Enterprise from obtaining an arbitralily large speed. This force has been refered to as "continuum drag". In order for "continuum drag" to prevent the Enterprise from obtaining arbitralily large speed, it has to be a force that increases as the Enterprise increases speed. For an airplane, the drag force is air resistance and this is indeed a force that increases with velocity. This does not, however, provide us with a clue as to what prevents the Enterprise from obtaining arbitralily large velocity in what is relatively empty space. The best anology I can think of is closely related to the explanation for warp drive given in the previous section. Imagine stretching a rubber band. Rubber bands can't be stretched indefinitely because the tension increases as the rubber band is stretched; in fact, the tension in a rubber band is such that if you let go of it, it will return to its original shape. Real rubber bands are not ideal, however, in that they have elastic limits and, therefore, break when you stretch them too far; this can be seen to be analogous to a ship being torn apart when it exceeds its warp capabilities. 6) SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND TIME DIALATION Galileo introduced the principle of relativity, namely that physics is the same to all observers regardless of their relative speed. At the turn of the century, scientists proposed the idea of "ether" to explain how light could be propagated in a vacuum, thus introducing a special frame of reference. Experimental evidence was that the speed of light is a constant for all observers regardless of their relative speed. Albert Einstein thus proposed Special Relativity, the theory that all observers in non-accelerating frames observe the same physics and that the speed of light is the same to all observers. The latter principle implies that one cannot exceed the speed of light, simply because we would perceive light to travel at its normal speed and, thus, a "stationary" observer would see light itself to be travelling at faster than the speed of light! In order to have faster than light travel then we must allow for the possibility for light itself to exceed the speed of light, thus disposing of this principle. This principle can not be disposed of lightly as light is nothing more than a time developing electro-magnetic field. The electric field obeys the formula d^2 E 1 d^2 E ----- + --- ----- = 0 dt^2 c^2 dx^2 where c is the speed of light. Thus if c -> infinity then light cannot propagate. Thus, c cannot be infinity. It is reasonable to suppose that the speed of light in subspace would be warp 9.997, the speed of subspace radio. Now let's consider a means of faster than light travel that would preserve the principle of relativity. First, let's consider a "relativistic effect" encountered when travelling at "relativistic" sublight speeds. As mentioned in the section before last, we have the formula t' = sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)*t where t is the time experienced by an observer and t' is the time experienced by the passenger travelling at a velocity v relative to the observer. For example, consider v = .60 c and t = 1000 days then t' = 800 days. This effect is known as "time dialation". Now suppose one were to enter warp. The principle of relativity implies that one does not have to be travelling at any particular speed when one enters warp because this would imply the existance of a special frame. This principle also implies that one continues to measure time exactly as one did when one entered warp because the frame of reference that one was in when one entered warp was no less important than any other frame. Thus, we have the possibility of two ships in warp having come from different frames of reference and being "out of phase" with each other in that each ship would consider passengers in the other as moving relatively slowly (the same effect occurs, of course, when two ships travelling in normal space have relative velocity). There could be many ways this problem may be overcome, the most simple of which would be for both ships to drop out of warp and travel at the same speed. Jason Hinson successfully found one aspect of this theory that is not immediately obvious, namely that this theory makes time travel possible in a way far more plausible than any method used on Star Trek (IMO). Consider the possibility that a ship enters warp and travels at, say, warp 9 for, say, 11.561 hours and then drops out of warp and then increases speed by a mere .14522% of the speed of light. What, in your new frame of reference, was the time when you first entered warp? According to the formula ct' = (ct-vx/c)/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2) the time for that event, t', is 13.898 hours in the future! Now, suppose you re-enter warp and turn around (see, for example TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield) and proceed at warp 9 back to your starting point. This trip takes only 11.561 hours! So what you end up with is two identical ships at the same place at the same time, one which is, supposedly, going to leave in 2.337 hours and another that has already come back! Jason Hinson hates this scenario because the latter ship could convince the former not to go and then you have causality violation. (For more information see Jason Hinson's regular posting on Special Relativity and FTL travel or email him at The possibilty of time dialation opens up many possibilities. Suppose for instance that the Enterprise were to travel at v = .60 c. In such a case, 1.25 years would pass planetside for every year that passed on the Enterprise, the result being that people planetside would age at a rate 25% faster than people on the Enterprise. As Leon Myerson once pointed out, time dialation would have social consequences. How, for example, does one describe how old one is? After all, some time can be spent aboard ship, some planetside. Similarly, how does one decide when to celebrate holidays like Christmas? Does one celebrate it two or three times a year when one is on board ship simply because it is being celebrated back on Earth at the same time? The latter question may be moot; people can decide amongst themselves whether or not and, if so, when to celebrate holidays. The former question is important trekwise, however, because people are seen celebrating their birthdays. As a birthday is apparently seen as an accomplishment, it is natural to presume that each birthday counts off a year that the individual has actually aged. People would then determine how old they are based on the amount of time that had passed for them while they were either on board or planetside. One could well imagine someone losing track of how old they are. In contrast, the time in the ship's logs are given as stardates which we can presume to be standard planetside time. 7) GENERAL RELATIVITY Mark Craddock recently posted an article in which he was able to clarify how General Relativity is in fact a generalisation of Special Relativity and what implications this generalisation may have on the status of faster than light travel. I got his permission to copy said article and it appears below: Now let us examine what we mean by relativity. Isaac Kuo quite rightly pointed out that relativity means that the laws of physics are the same in all frames. This is a basic principle of physics and we would give it up only after a fight. Then we come to the Lorentz transformations. The LTs are a crucial component of special relativity. They show different coordinate frames how to transform position and time variables. Jason Hinson has a regular post where he explains them and I don't wish to spend to much time on them. But it is worth pointing out some often overlooked point. Now we should ask where the importance of the LTs come from? The answer is: The Minkowski metric. Einstein's procedure for synchronizing clocks is based upon the assumption that the speed of light is a constant for all observers moving less than c. Minkowski showed in 1908 that special relativity could be recast in geometrical form by introducing what is called the Minkowski metric. It essentially contains the two assumptions that Einstein based special relativity upon. Minkowski defined an interval ds, and related these to the coordinates x,y,z,t by ds^2 = -c^2dt^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2. Now the Lorentz transformations get there importance from the fact that they preserve the above expression. Mathematically speaking they make up the "Invariance group" of the Minkowski metric. Tolman observed in 1917, (and Sommerfeld noted the same thing in a commentary on Minkoswki's work around 1920 (?)), that if we allow FTL signals in Minkoswki spacetime, that is a universe where the geometry is determined by Minkowski's metric, then there exist frames where the FTL signals travel backwards in time. Tolman used this to define what he called an anti-telephone. This allows us to state a theorem (and it is a real mathematical theorem which you can prove if you know enough differential geometry). If FTL signals propagate on a Minowski spacetime, then there exist frames with respect to which, the signals travel backwards in time. This is the sense in which physicists say that FTL + relativity + LTs => time travel. It is not however the end of the story. The reasons are twofold. Firstly it doesn't give the full picture of what is going on, and secondly, we do not live in Minkowski spacetime. The first point I will mention only briefly. we have to consider the following simple thought experiment. Let A send B a signal at velocity u > c, and let a moving observer have velocity v. Then by applying the Lorentz transformations to the above situation, we see that in the observers frame, the time the signal is sent and the time it arrives are given by t' = l(v)t(1 - uv/c^2), where l(v) = (1 -(v/c)^2)^(-1/2). and so we can find v < c, so that the events occur in the opposite order in the moving frame. This is however not the full story. We ought also to consider what the events the moving observer measures actually are. If the tachyon in the experiment has energy E, then in the moving frame it has energy E' = l(v)E(1-uv/c^2), and so we can find frames such that the energy measured is negative. If the tachyon has charge e, then in the moving frame it will actually have energy -e!. Thus in the moving frame what actually appears to happen is that B emits an anti tachyon which A absorbs at a later time! Not only is the time order of the events reversed, but they are not even the same events! Susharden use this to introduce what he called the reinterpretation principle. Tachyons with negative energy moving backwards in time are reinterpreted as antitachyons moving forward in time. In this way he hoped to avoid the causality paradoxes which people had put forward. Several authors claim that if you develop a consstent theory of tachyon kinematics, then you can, using this principle. resolve all the tachyon paradoxes put forward. This work is controversial, and I am personally sceptical, but it is worth noting that people are looking at these things. Lots of physics journals occasionaly carry papers on these subjects. The second point I made earlier is more interesting in my view. We do not actually live in a Minowski spacetime because of curvature due to gravity (more precisely, curvature which manifests itself as gravity). This is the realm of General relativity. Before discussing this further I note in passing, that if we allow FTL signals, then this in itslef might imply that spacetime is not even approximately Minkowskian, away from sources of matter. For example, if a source is moving faster than light, then observers moving less than c might no longer measure its velocity to be c. This would not invalidate special relativity. It would simply become a special case of a wider theory. This possibilit is however rather complicated. So to general relativity. General relativity replaces Minkowski's metrivc with a more general object called the metric tensor, g(a,b). (The a and b are usually written as subscripts). The famous Einstein field equations relate the Einsten tensor G(a,b) to the stress energy tensor T(a,b), which contains information about the distribution of energy and matter. The Einstein tensor is built by differentiating g(a,b). Thus the field equations G(a,b) = 8piT(a,b), give differential equations for g(a,b). In general relativity, FTL travel is at least a mathematical possibility. This is because one can write down metrics g, which allow some very peculiar behaviour. For example, consider the metric with the interval ds given by ds^2 = -c^2dt^2 + exp(-2k(r))dr^2 + r^2(dq^2 +sin^2qdw^2). This is in spherical polar coordinates. Now how do we extract information from this? Well one easy thing to do is work out the radial velocity of light. We set ds =0. This corresponds to what is called a null geodesic, along which light rays travel. Then we set q =w = constant. We then get (dr/dt)^2 = exp(2k(r))c^2. Exp is the exponential function. Thus the radial speed of light in this spacetime is dr/dt = exp(k(r))c. Thus by suitable choice of k, we can make light go faster than c! Remember, this is only a mathematical possiblity. There is no reason to believe that we could find an energy distribution in the real world for which the above is a solution of the einstein equations. But if we could, then we could travel faster than c in this "warped space", but never faster than light. Recently, a spacetime involving a stable wormhole was discovered by Kip Thorne and Michael Morris. (there original paper appeared inthe American Journal of Physics in 1988). A wormhole is essentially a short cut through space. of course DS9 viewers will be familiar with the idea. Wormholes had been known since 1916 (It actually predates the discovery of black holes). But all previous wormhole solutions were unstable. They collapsed in microseconds. Thorne and Morris worked out the properties that a wormhole would have to have to be useful, worked out its metric, and then figured out the stress tensor required to keep it open. It requires the existence of what is known as exotic matter. This matter must violate what is called the averaged weak energy condition. That, is that matter must have,on average, positive energy. The lesser, weak energy condition, long thought to be a universal rule, is now known to be violate by the casimir effect. Thus it is possible that exotic matter may exist. Of course we do not know at this stage. Even if exotic matter does exist, it is still not clear how to build a wormhole, but maybe that will be done to. Thorne believes that we may be able to pull quantum wormholes out of the vaccum, and inflate them to macroscopic size. Well maybe. The jury is still out. A stable wormhole is an example of what I mentioned above. it gives FTL conection between to points n spacetime, but only those two points. The spacetime is also radicaly different from Minkowski, at least near the throats, so the LTs give no information. However you can still get causality violations from what are called closed time like curves. Basically, if you can induce a time shift in the wormhole throats, then bring them close together, then you can enter the throat, leave and come back again before you left. Fortunately, Visser (january 1993, physical review D), has shown that quantum mechanical effects may prevent bringing the mouths close enough to form a closed timelike curve. hawking has conjectured that quantum effects will always make this so, no matter how you arrange your wormholes. If he is right, then we may well be able to travel FTL, at least in this sense, and have no causality violations. 8) TIME TRAVEL AND CAUSALITY VIOLATION Causality is the principle that causes preceed effects. We can imagine causality violation in stories which involve time travel. This restricts how we interpret these stories. Specifically: TOS: "The Naked Time" The Enterprise goes back in time three days. Will they meet themselves? Only if they actually return to Psi 2000. Why should they? TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday" If the Enterprise went back in time a few hours, were there not *two* Enterprises in orbit around Earth? The answer is, of course, yes. This was something the script glossed over. If in the revised history the Enterprise didn't pick up Captain Christopher, then why did they have to return him? The answer is that once they returned him, the incident never happened. This was explicitly said. TOS: "City on the Edge of Forever" The following is exerpted from Harlan Ellison's original script: KIRK Could we go back, any of us ... say, to this time, 1930 of Old Earth? Beckwith strains for the answer. 23 UP-ANGLE ON THE GUARDIANS SHOT FROM TILT they look immense, rising up, almost Messianic in tone, something reverential as they speak about their religion - time. 1st GUARDIAN Yes, but it is not wise. Man and non-Man must live in their present of their future. But never in their past, save to learn lessons from it. Time can be dangerous. If passage back is effected, the voyager may add a new factor to the past, and thus change time, alter everything that happened from that point to the present ... all through the universe. 24 SPOCK AND GUARDIANS PAST HIM fascinated by the concepts, not the magic of it all. SPOCK Then time is not a constant. It isn't rigid? 1st GUARDIAN Time is elastic. It will revert to its original shape when changes are minor. But when the change is life or death - when the sum of intelligence alters the balance - then the change can become permanent ... and terrible. SPOCK Like changing the flow of a river. 1st GUARDIAN A river, a wind, a flow, elastic. It makes no difference how you imagine it yourself. KIRK How long has it been since anyone went ... 1st GUARDIAN We do not go back. We guard. For one hundred thousand years no one has gone back. SPOCK (to Kirk) Captain, I understand now why we can breathe here, and why our chronometers turned backwards. The Time Vortex has been left set at 1930. While CAMERA DOES NOT dwell on it, we should see the scene of the depression back there, to remind us it's on. KIRK They've created a zone of no-time here. SPOCK Within the sphere of influence of the vortex time doesn't move. All through the rest of the universe it flows at its normal rate, but here - KIRK (softly) If they can control time, how much simpler it must be for them to control the atmosphere. 1st GUARDIAN There is wisdom that lesser species have not grasped. Perhaps you who call yourselves "men" will be next to guard all of time. TOS: "Assignment: Earth" The Enterprise did change history (as Kirk noted at the end) but we're supposed to believe that it wasn't significant. TOS: "All Our Yesterdays" Mr. Atoz was sending people back in time. Nothing they did in the past could change when their sun was to go nova. Star Trek IV Supposedly whales don't usually have any significant affect on history. TNG: "Time Squared" Picard was in a causality loop. When Picard followed the right course of action, the loop ended. TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise" Why was Guinan on the ship in the first place if "Time's Arrow" didn't occur in the Federation/Klingon war universe? It's something to think about. TNG: "Captain's Holiday" Supposedly, causality wasn't violated in this episode because the people from the future were unable to stop Picard from destroying the device. More importantly, we're supposed to believe that the presence of this device in our present didn't change the future in the first place. TNG: "Redemption II" In this episode we find out that Tasha Yar existed before she was born and gave birth to a Romulan Commander. Say what? Patrick Rannou came up with an explanation using the "established" effects of time travel: "Like the guardian said 'Time is elastic, minor events will not affect the timestream much unless they are of the matter of life and death. In that case, the overall intelligence in the universe of time would be changed and time would be changed for the entire universe. It would probably be catastrophic.' "To me, this describes quite well what happened in YE: at the moment the old E came out of that workhole, the WHOLE UNIVERSE changed catastrophically (well, maybe just the federations and klingons...), since the E's disappearance to the end of time. Then at the moment the old E reentered the wormhole, the whole universe's time AGAIN is changed from the 'war' screnario. "i.e. if the old E entered the past-wormhole at say stardate 40000.00 and then went to stardate 44000.00, then 'at stardate 44000.00', the whole universe from stardate 40000.00 to infinite gets changed to the fed-K war scneario. Then, at stardate 44000.02 the old Fed ship go back in time to 40000.02, and thus "at stardate 44000.02" the whole (fed-kling war) universe gets changed. Sin ce between stardate 40000.00 and 40000.02 both 'original' fed-no-war universe and fed-K-war universe are virtually the same, this means that nothing important happened ther and thus the 'third' universe wll be in all cases identical to the original universe... except that Tasha Yar commanded that ship, and survived for some time, then had a girl named Sela. "So, you can consider that in all episodes previous to 'Yesterday enterprise', Tasha Yar existed only once (for all time) and was killed by the black blob. And similarly Sela never existed either. But that universe doesn't exist anymore. But this does not force us to throw all the previous episode to the garbage can since the 'new' (third) universe, the one for the eps after Yesterday Enterprise, feature the same events for all these epsides. In the 'new' universe, two Tasha coexisted in time, one still dying at the hand of the black pudding and the other 'appearing' at 40000.2 and then having a girl Sela. "Now, what the guardian said would explain why such events prove 'catastrophic'. Since they affect EVERYTHING up to the end of time, it is safe to bet that in a few million or billion years, that 'ripple' may have cost whole civilisations to disappear and never exist. i.e. in the fed-klingon war, the borgs could have vanquished both race easily, thus preventing them from helping hugh, and thus the borgs could have wiped everyone and everything in the galaxy, until the end of time. We can see that such a thing cvould have proved a 'catastrophy' to the universe. Fortunately, the old-E went back in time and fixed most of the damage back in place. The only difference is the presence of Sela, but we can assume that in the long shcheme of things she will stay within the 'elasticity' of time..." TNG: "A Matter of Time" Rasmussen brought himself forward from the past. Supposedly, he was a "nobody" in established history. TNG: "Time's Arrow" The aliens weren't worried about changing their history because, supposedly, this was their first contact with humans. The crew had to stop them or else they'd change their history. In the end, the crew did change history by inspiring Jack London to go to Alaska and become a writer. We're supposed to believe that neither this nor Twain's "Mysterious Stranger" story had a significant effect on the course of history. For that matter, in the *original* history, the Enterprise had to have gotten involved for reasons other than those portayed in "Time's Arrow I". Meanwhile, both the watch and Data's head represent causality loops (although there were never more than two watches or heads around at any one time). (Note however that the loop that occured in TNG: "Cause and Effect" was not actually a causality loop; the Enterprise never went back in time; they just lived through the same events over and over.) One problem with "Time's Arrow I" is rationalising Data's "It did happen; it will happen" line with the concept of elastic time. This can be accomplished as follows. First, remember that Data has observed impatience when he begins a long explanation and, thus, would probably chose to use short, two line explanations even if they are inadequate. This would be the long explanation: "You see before you a head identical to my own. Logically, it follows that it *is* my head having been sent back in time. The fact that I still have my head demonstrates that it has not been sent back in time yet. This in turn implies that, as long as we follow our present course, I will in fact be sent back in time and will loose my head. Otherwise, this second head would no longer exist for we would have already changed history by finding it." In other words, "It did happen; it will happen." DS9: "The Emissary" The aliens in the wormhole were not "ignorant of the future", at least not *normally*. One might well imagine that Sisko's "presence" caused them to experience "linear time", something they weren't familiar with, and that's why they were so p*ssed off! In conclusion then, causality violation is a very real problem on Star Trek. This is a challenge to both writers and viewers (who, inevitably, have to suspend their disbelief). 9) TRANSWARP, WORMHOLES AND SUBSPACE CONDUITS The FAQL for this newsgroup goes on at length about transwarp. According to "Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise", transwarp involves creating a "'tear' in the fabric of three-dimensional space". Transwarp then would be a lot like creating an artificial wormhole, where a wormhole is a "hole" in four-dimensional space-time through which one could pass and emerge at another place in another time. The ST:TNG Technical Manual states on page 14 that transwarp is no longer used because it failed to "surpass the primary warp field efficiency barrier". This implies that transwarp was no more efficient as warp and, seeing as how a ship could theoretically travel at arbitralily large speeds while in warp, there was no advantage with transwarp. Indeed, if as "Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise" suggests, transwarp was developed as a result of the discovery of "interphases" in the original series episode "The Tholian Web" then transwarp is potentially unhealthy, capable of creating an "imbalance in the chemical composition of neural and muscular tissues in human beings". Joshua Bell pointed out that both the wormhole in "The Price" and the one on _Deep Space Nine_ sends ships 70 000 light years away. This is indeed across the galaxy. Joshua Bell estimates that it would take 70 for a starship to travel the same distance at typical speeds. Mark Craddock recently posted an article on wormholes (not the one that appears above, a more detailed one). Of particular interest to him was whether or not a wormhole, assuming that one could exist and be stable, could be used to generate time travel (forgetting Star Trek for a moment). His email address is Two other forms of travel are of note. In the Next Generation episode "The Nth Degree", the Enterprise travels through what looks very much like a "tear" in space to arrive at the centre of the galaxy; if this was transwarp then it is *not* a very comfortable ride. Also, in the Next Generation episode "The High Ground", individuals travelled by by-passing three dimensional space; this sounds a lot like a personal journey through transwarp and was indeed very unhealthy. Finally there's the "subspace conduits" used in "TNG: Descent". Geordi said that these were like "rivers in subspace" into which a ship could fall and be "swept away by the current". He also said he wasn't familiar with using "transwarp variables". Again, this suggests to me that "transwarp" == "travel through subspace". 10) SUBSPACE "What is subspace?" was the cry on the net and I would proudly declare that "subspace is warped space is subspace". Then along came the Next Generation episode "Schisms" with it's subspace "energy levels" and subspace "domains". I was completely taken aback. This was until Joshua Bell emailed me and suggested that subspace was none other than what string theorists call "inner space", namely those six dimensions of space that are unobservable as required by the principle of unobservability and yet manifest themselves in the quantum numbers of observed particles (gee, maybe Star Trek technobabble isn't that bad after all :) ), and that warp travel is made possible by unwrapping or "warping" these dimensions of space and sending a ship through. While I found this explanation relatively satisfying at the time, it now occurs to me that this actually sounds a *lot* like transwarp. The question remains then as to what it means to warp space for the purpose of ordinary warp drive. There is precendent in current physics for forces to manifest themselves in different ways. For example, the electric attraction between electrons and protons in atoms has the secondary effect of binding atoms together; this is a secondary effect because the atoms themselves are neutral. In fluids, this is known as a Vanderwals force. In molecules, this results in convalent bonding. There is a similar example in nuclear physics. Joshua Bell came back with a slightly different idea, namely that warp involves a starship being mostly in subspace but partly in real space so that it continues to interact with real space but is much lighter, no longer being given mass by the Higgs field that exists in real space. (I had copied Joshua's post in which he gave this idea onto a disk but the copy became corrupted; anyway, this was the jist of it.) 11) "FULL IMPULSE" Before (finally) leaving behind the subject of warp, there is one thing I want to deal with and that is the often quoted "full impulse" line used when people at the helm increase speed from one warp factor to another. Impulse does not measure speed but, rather, change in momentum. However one defines momentum while in warp, it is clear that as one increases speed, one increases momentum; thus there is indeed a change in momentum and, thus, there has been an impulse, an acceleration that has taken place over a given length of time. It's usage on ST:TNG is, therefore, correct. 12) PHASERS AND DISRUPTORS There is one thing that we know for sure about phasers, namely that hand phasers travel at sub-light speed (TOS: "Wink of an Eye"). This alone establishes that phasers are not beams of light but rather some material particles. In order to reduce matter to plasma, it would make sense to have the particles in question be charged. This suggests a beam consisting of pairs of positively and negatively charged particles for otherwise the beam would carry a net charge and would leave the opposite charge behind on the phaser. It also makes sense for the particles in question *not* to be protons and anti-protons because nuclear particles would cause the bombarded target to become radioactive (such a beam would be ideal for a doomsday machine, however) This leaves us with the posibility that phasers beams consist of electrons and positrons. It isn't completely clear (to me anyway) whether or not ship's phasers travel at warp speed. It would be desirable for the phasers to travel at warp speed so that an enemy ship couldn't easily outmaneuver them. This is particularly true if disruptor beams travel at warp speed. Jason Hinson suggested the possibility of electron-positron pairs being created not in the phaser itself but along the length of the beam, based on my suggestion that virtual electron-positron pairs could be given momentum by a warp field. (The actual mechanism by which particles are accelerated is refered to as the "rapid nadion effect".) When I proposed the idea that a phaser beam could be produced by accelerating virtual electron-positron pairs, Jason Hinson wondered what the density of virtual electron-positron pairs is in the vacuum. It turns out that this density is not well defined since the Heisenburg Uncertaincy Principle allows infinitely energetic pairs to exist for infinitessimally short periods of time. The measured energy density of pairs in the vacuum is then a function of the shortest length of time a pair can exist and still be detected. An alternate non-canonical explanation of the "phaser effect" (as proposed by Leon Myerson) is for the phaser not to carry particles at all but rather to give "warp impulses to atoms encountered" along its path, thereby disrupting their molecular bonds. This sounds more like what a disrupter would do. The main advantage of a phaser seems to be that phasers have different settings used to "stun", "kill" or "destroy". (This includes ship's phasers. See TOS: "A Piece of the Action".) It isn't clear (to me anyway) whether or not disruptors have different settings. 13) TRANSPORTERS There are a few problems with transporters that everyone can see without even knowing any physics: 1. Storing enough information to completely reconstruct a human body would require considerable memory. The idea is that each atom that makes up our body has its own location in space and it's own velocity. Thus, to completely decompose our body and store it in the transporter would require six numbers for every atom in our body, all to high precision. 2. If it were possible to store that much information, then it would be too easy to make duplicates of, say, Data, assuming you had the right materials. 3. If you are completely decomposed during transit, are you not dead? (This of course is not the case. See TNG: "Realm of Fear".) The only explanation that would explain away all these problems is to not have the people transported be completely decomposed. After all, you, right now, are composed of individual atoms and yet you do not need storage space put aside to keep track of where each of your atoms are and where they are going. My proposal is then that atoms in the "matter stream" continue to interact to the point that people travelling in the transporter experience the illusion of being "whole" at all times. (Joshua Bell describes this as "maintaining your topology".) Even with this explanation, the Next Generation episodes "Unnatural Selection" and "Rascals" (the transporters-can-make-you-young episodes) do not make sense from the point of view of molecular biology. Another problem with the idea of transporters is that you have to get around quantum mechanics in order to use them. This is because you *can't* take any single atom and instruct it to go to a definite place and simultaneously have a definite momentum. This is due to the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle, namely that you can't simultanmeously describe a particle's location and momentum to an arbitrary number of decimal places. Of course, in "Realm of Fear", O'Brien does a diagnostic of the transporter and mentions the "Heisenburg compensators" Thus, with a mere two words, Paramount has made transporters somewhat more believable. Then there's the issue of whether or not you can create doubles using a transporter, an issue which was rendered academic by TNG: "Second Chances", the episode in which Riker learns that when a transporter locked onto him once, eight years ago, the transporter chief did so by using two confining beams, one which beamed Riker on board, the other which made a copy which appeared on the planet. (Note 1: I think we can consider TOS: "The Enemy Within" to be non-canon anyway since it is ludicrous to suppose that the transporter can distinguish between good and evil.) (Note 2: I considered "Thomas" Riker to be the copy since Geordi reasoned that the effect was due to the original confining beam resonating with the planet's barrier [i.e. whatever it was in the atmosphere that made beamout difficult] and reflecting back to the surface.) Thus, in theory, Star Fleet Command could make copies of, say, Data using the transporter ... although they'd probably try inaminate objects at the first experimental stage. :l One thing that is not a problem with the idea of transporters is what happened to Scotty as described in the Next Generation episode "Relics". In that episode, Scotty had placed the transporter in a "diagnostic loop". In such a mode, he was able to survive for seventy-five years without having his pattern degrade more than .003%. Given that his pattern had degraded so little, it is natural to presume that he was "frozen" in stasis and was not aware of the passage of time. 14) HOLODECKS There seems to be a great deal of consensus as to how the holodeck works. To begin with, it is clear that the walls of the holodeck feature holograms to give the illusion of vast space. If one were to move to towards one of the walls, the image that one sees would change so that one would believe one was in the area that one had previously seen "from a distance". With two or more people "spreading out", the holodeck would have to create different images for the different people, including images of each other as seen from a distance, if necessary. The holodeck would manipulate sound in a similar fashion in order to create the illusion that sounds are coming from a specific place, a specific distance away. The holodeck also provides objects that people can actually pick up. The FAQL for this group stated that "Holodeck-replicated material cannot leave the confines of the holodeck". This is, of course, not true as demonstrated in "Elementary, My Dear Data" in which a map of the Enterprise is taken out of the holodeck. In general, however, material that is part of the holodeck program is beamed away when the program ends. (The material in the holodeck is replicated and beamed away at the "molecular level" and thus appears and disappears more quickly than transported objects.) Finally, the holodeck provides images of people and animals who, if one is close enough to touch them, are made solid. The illusion of continuous motion is provided by the having the images continuously upgraded. 15) CLOAKING It was said a Next Generation episode ("The Enemy", I believe, by Data) that cloaking devices work by bending light around a ship and having it appear on the other side. This alone would not prevent the ship from being detected by other means. (In Star Trek VI, it was noted that the Klingon Bird of Prey gave off neutrons while cloaked but apparently only enough for it to be detected at short range.) Improved cloaking devices would avoid detection from subspace particles (of which, as you may recall, there are many, all with nifty sounding names). The ideal cloaking device would be one that renders a ship transparent to all means of detection. It was this kind of device that the Romulans were trying to develop in the Next Generation episode "The Next Phase". In the original series episode "The Enterprise Incident", Kirk manages to steal a Romulan cloaking device. It has become a matter of contention as to why Federation ships don't have cloaking devices. A couple of people have sought to explain this, including Mark Runyan. The following is taken from one of his posts. "no_cloak_list --------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Who says we don't have cloaking? Just because they haven't used it doesn't mean they don't have it. (see 8 & 5 below) (See also 16 :-) 2. Why should the Federation chose to use cloaking? It is expensive in energy, and it leaves you at an extreme disadvantage if you are tracked. (see 6 below) 3. Cloaking shields don't work with Federation warp technology. 4. FASA history explains that it was tried but found unacceptable. (see 6 & 16 below) 5. Cloaking just isn't the Star Fleet Way. 6. "Cloaking just isn't PRACTICAL for the energy/mass ratio of a Galaxy class ship. Under current technology, of course.....(sorta like asking why we don't have nuclear powered Stealth fighters.....)" (to quote Roger Tang) 7. "It is not esthetically pleasing for the viewer to be treated to a TV screen full of stars whizzing by without the Enterprise planted squarely in the middle. Or worse, a TV screen full of stars just standing in place while SFX for the Enterprise roaring by are played in the background." (to quote Tony Nardo) 8. Cloaking isn't foolproof (i.e. you can be tracked and you leave indications that you are cloaked all about) and it leaves you at a disadvantage if someone catches you that way (i.e. you can't fire your weapons while cloaked). (see 11 below) 9. "The second reason is in the nature of the Enterprise. It is, first and foremost, a science vessel. Possession of a cloak would be a uniquely military function -- contrary to the design intent." (to quote Jason Steck) 10. "Obviously the Feds have some type of cloaking device. ... So why don't the ships have and/or use the technology? I think the answer lies in the real world and not the fictional world of ST. ... It would be too much of a crutch for plot resolution in far too many episodes." (see 7 above) (to quote Tom Kuchar) 11. "The answer I like to use is that they do. It can be used to go unseen around non-technologically advanced peoples...It can't be used in space, however, because the Romulans have worked on their sensors to pick up Fed-Cloaked ships. ... They did, and the Feds couldn't figure out the device, so the Romulans still have the Cloaking superiority." (To quote Larry Diamond) 12. "Cloaking is probably dangerous (even if only slightly). Klingon and Romulan 'acceptable losses' are probably higher than Starfleet's. [... based on novels/FASA stuff/my own conjecture]" (see 2 & 4 above). (To quote Christopher Davis) 13. "The canonical answer to why there are no cloaking devices on board any Federation ship. They've found that cloaking devices don't work with the geometry of the starships shape. It has to do with where the Deflector Emitters are on the hull relative to each other and does not allow for that kind of field manipulation." (Baycon '90 PANEL Discussion - Rick Sternbach, Mike Okuda as reported by Alan Takahashi) (see 4 above) 14. "Why doesn't STTNG allow Federation use of cloaking technology anyway? (Well, they CAN...after all, it's only a TV show!!) The real world reason is that it's one of the facets that make the Romulans different from the Federation. Also the fact that any resultant space battles/warp maneuvers would be boring to watch." (More from Baycon '90 PANEL Discussion - Rick Sternbach, Mike Okuda as reported by Alan Takahashi). (See 7 above) 15. "Richard Arnold was asked at a convention why the Enterprise doesn't have a cloaking device. His response was that it was too militaristic, i.e., having a cloak would indicate that the Enterprise was anticipating a fight, which is a military way of thinking and hence inappropriate. So this can be accepted as the "official" Star Trek line." (To quote Peter A. David) (see 9 above) 16. "They DO have a cloaking device, but there's a problem, they only have one. When Kirk returned the Romulan cloaking device to the Federation, they quickly turned it over to the scientists to decipher how it works and develop one that will work for us. In the process, they had to gut the Romulan device for parts. Anyways, the fateful day approached, and they brought in a lot of top brass to witness the first powering of the Federation Cloaking Device. There was a hushed expectation... And the switch was flipped. To their amazement and delight, the cloaking device worked! And promptly disappeared. To this day they're still trying to find the cloaked off switch. They know it's in the lab... Somewhere..." (To quote Robert J. Granvin) (see also 1 above :-) 17. "'No Useful Spinoff Technologies' This one is on the thinest ground here, since the script writers could easily be writing a counter-example right now. However, to examine what GR has stated is Star Fleet's mission (in terms of 20th Century USA, I think of a merging of DARPA, NSF, and NIH), cloaking devices do not have a crucial role in emerging Federation Technologies." (To quote A.J. Madison) 18. "By treaty, through which the Klingon Empire allied itself with the Federation, the Federation agreed not to maintain any cloaking devices while allowing Klingons theirs. Won't stop use of 'em by the Feds when they're needed, but it might explain why, in such a delicate situation, the Feds went to Kling...." (To quote Roger Tang) 19. When asked "Why doesn't the Enterprise ever cloak?", Patrick Stewart at Vulkon in Atlanta in 1992 answered "Well... how shall I put it in terms you can understand? It's a technical thing really." Patrick rubs his forehead in serious contemplation and continues, "Put simply, we don't have a cloak button! I've looked all over the bridge and nowhere can I find a single button that says `Cloak'!" (To quote Sean P. Ormond) 20. There is some speculation that it isn't possible to shield and cloak at the same time. This would make it much more dangerous to shield and cloak." That last point was confirmed in TNG: "Face of the Enemy". A similar list was done by A. J. Madison and appears below. "Here is the TechFandom Response: (excuse the paraphrase, I'm on the less filling side of this debate, so some might object to my choice of words for the explanations in this category) The Federation does not use the Romulan Cloaking device because: a) It requires an extremely specialized hull design, of which the TOS Enterprise was extremely lucky that it worked. However, it seems to fail on just about any other vessel. The Feds, in an effort to utilize resources with the best return on investment, "gave up" on the technology. b) The cloaking system, in order to work at reasonable levels of efficency requires large amounts of the element "Unobtainium" (Ux) built into the outer hulls of the vessel it is to cloak. Unobtainium is extremely rare and expensive to purify. Therefore, Starfleet scouts and border monitors are equiped with the system, but typical ships of the line (eg. the Enterprise original, -A, et al.) are not. Some arguments suggest that Starfleet policy (leaving the typical commander out on the cold) on this technology is an attempt to convince the Romulans that the Feds/Starfleet does not have a mastery of the technology. Here is the Response generated by everyone else on R.A.S(.T); The Federation does not use the Cloaking device because: 1. It Does Not Work. Evidence suggesting this comes from several sources. In ST:TSFS, then Adminal Kirk (& Sulu, et al.) was able to defeat the Klingon version of the cloaking device without ANY special training OR special sensor hardware. TNG era long range sensors regularly detect cloaked vessel movements. In ST:TNG's Redemption II, no less than two (rather hastily thought out, I might add) methodologies are shown that defeat TNG era Romulan Cloaking devices. In ST:TUC, it has been demonstrated that Klingon cloaking devices do nothing to obscure the propulsion (impulse) system emissions, and thus make the vessel's location detectable with specialized gear. 2. (a) Starfleet Commanders Hate it. The supporting evidence here is relatively thin. As demonstrated in only a couple of episodes, Romulan battle tactics are to creep up on your target and when at point blank range, fire your weapon (Plasma bolts, which are like a space going shotgun, in comparison to the Fed's machine gun like Phasers) and Run Like Hell. Should you miss your target... We have seen that Kirk likes to run around at high warp and blast away with everything he has operational. Picard tends to prefer more complex maneuvers with higher percentages of success (or fewer casualties). Neither strategy seems to include skulking around under cover of invisibility and blowing away the inattentive adversary. 2. (b) In the TNG era, intra-galactic politics indicate that unrestrained Federation use of cloak technology would undermine its "We Come In Peace" policies and reputation. Therefore, shooting at enemies from cover of invisibility may be prohibited for reasons of policy rather than a deficiency of expertise or technology. However, ST:TUC, shows that this battle tactic is not above Klingon principles, especially if firing the weapon never reveals your location. 3. There are no spin-off technologies from it. This is based more on conjecture than any displayed evidence, and it only takes one script to provide the necessary counter example. Phasers can be de-tuned to provide a variety of materials processing methods (cutting, heat treating, material change), the Transporter in various guises provides replication systems and recreational equipment. One could suggest that the cloaking device only has military (or the less charged word, defense) applications. Since Starfleet is more interested in uncovering interesting stuff, rather the covering it up, the cloaking device provides very little interest to the Federation Science Foundation principal investigators. Also, the technology is subject to obsolescence, like any other. Indeed, this was the message of the closing scene in the TOS episode "The Enterprise Incident" that introduced the "treknology". There does seem to be a cloak gap in ST:TNG, as evidenced by one episode where Picard, in an attempt assertain the motives of a "defecting" Romulan General, requests him to divulge the cloaking device "secret." Therefore the technology has a number of strikes against it. It has limited basic research appeal, only defense related applications, and subject to rapid obsolescence." These lists being all very well, the fact is that Star Trek VI can be better understood if the Enterprise A had cloaking technology, in particular during the scene in which the Enterprise enters Klingon space. We have Michael Seth Rostker to thank for the following quote from the novelization (with comments taken from his original post). "'Even if Enterpise ran cloaked in Klingon space, she still risked detection by specially equipped listening posts inside the Klingon boarder...'(pg. 223-224) When Enterprise is finally detected in Klingon space it is by such a listening post, but the alarm that sounds is for that of a *cloaked* vessel. 'A feeble light on the aging screen blinked at him [the watchman], indicating a cloaked vessel.' (pg. 225-226) This aside, the cloaking device aboard the Enterprise could not have been very good, for the scanners that detected her were described as being quite outdated." 16) STARDATES More than any other topic, stardates have been a puzzle for me. Originally, Gene Roddenberry inteneded each stardate to be a day but it is apparent that on ST:TNG 1000 stardates is a year (1000 stardates pass each season and, most recently in TNG:"Chain of Command I", we've had indications that each season is a year). I'm going to make some assumptions in an attempt to solve this puzzle. First of all, let's assume that the stardate system began in the year 2261 and each stardate was a day. In 96 years, 35064 days will pass. Thus, the year 2357 would contain the stardate 35064. If the stardate system was then changed so that 1000 stardates pass each year then the year 2364 would contain the stardate 42064. Meanwhile, in the episode "The Neutral Zone", the year is given as 2364 and the stardate as 41986.0. I will now compare calculated dates from TOS and movie stardates with the dates given in Mike Okuda's _Star Trek Chronology_. Episode/Movie Stardate Date by Calculation Star Trek Chronology Where No Man ... 1312.4 2265 2266 Tomorrow is Yest. 3113.2 2270 2266 Space Seed 3141.9 2270 2266 All Our Yest. 5943.7 2277 2268 Star Trek I 7412.3 2281 2278 Star Trek II 8130.6 2283 2285 Star Trek III 8210.3 2283 2285 Star Trek IV 8390.0 2284 2286 Star Trek VI 9521.6 2287 2293 Another approach would be to say that 1000 stardates have always been one year and have stardates 1312.4 - 5943.7 represent five years. One could account for the missing stardates by saying that the stardates correspond to dates in the log of whatever ship is called the Enterprise (i.e claim that ships called "The Enterprise" had served a sum total of 41 years up until the start of ST:TNG). Of course, when you consider stardates you should keep in mind that the episodes "The Battle", "The Arsenal of Freedom" and "The Big Goodbye" featured Tasha Yar and stardates 41723.9, 41798.2 and (supposedly) 41997.7 whereas Tasha Yar died stardate (supposedly) 41601.3 in "Skin of Evil". The bottom line then is that, while stardates can be made give a fair fit for known dates, stardates have not given enough consideration by Paramount to actually be useful. 17) CONCLUSION Previously when I have posted this article, I have been obnoxiously self-congratulatory, given the fact that this article clearly gives some new perspectives on science as it pertains to Star Trek. I think it is more appropriate for me, instead thank all the people who have posted intelligent posts to this newsgroup, especially those who were cited above. Thanks. Martin Phipps aka Deja Dude The CeLiNeFan Although one shouldn't laugh at one's own humour, it is nice to know that somebody is.


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