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Old 7th October 2017, 12:00 PM   #321
HansMustermann
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I suppose, if both are just coasting at low speed with their engines off, you could hide one ship.

But that's kinda the catch, or problem three: it only works at very low speeds.

For a start, because unless you activate some kind of shields, and you're going at a wee 0.75c (three quarter impulse, in ST terms), hitting a 1g spec of sand with hit you with all the energy of 11 kilotons of TNT. It's a little over three quarters of the Hiroshima bomb, it's right on your front hull, and it's all going in one direction, so it'll behave like a 11 kiloton HEAT round. Hell, hitting a 1 MILLLIgram spec of dust is going to have the same effect as a shaped charge built of 11 tons of TNT.

But even if you don't hit any specs of dust, even the hydrogen atoms in the interstellar space will create quite the glow on your front hull. Thing is, sure, they're not too dense, but you're sweeping a LOT of space. If you go 0.75c, every square metre of your cross section sweeps just shy of a quarter of a cubic kilometre of space every second. Even at just one atom per cubic metre, that's a lot, and they're going relativistic in your frame.

And that energy flux increases more than with the CUBE speed. Because even if we ignore the relativistic aspect, energy per particle is proportional to the square of the speed, and the space you sweep is also proportional to speed, so multiply the two, and you get cubic. But really at high c, you also add a Lorentz transform to the former, and it ain't pretty.

So, long story short, if you go too fast even coasting with engines off, your front plate will glow like a christmas tree from all those particle collisions.

So, yeah, my take is that it only really works for ambush situations. You can orbit somewhere in the Oort cloud, or local equivalent, with the engines and most equipment off. And be ready to launch the planet killer weapons, if a war breaks out. Essentially like the nuke carrying submarines nowadays.

Edit: or I suppose stuff like pirates waiting powered down for some convoy to show up, or conversely some navy vessels laying in ambush for pirates, etc.
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Old 7th October 2017, 04:43 PM   #322
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I guess this particular pet peeve about the SW universe has been discussed before. I would even bet that there are whole websites devoted to this annoying little thing, but I never go to those type places, I get all my nerdy input on this forum. So here it is:

Why the **** do Storm troopers wear such totally useless armour? It does nothing to protect them from weapons, makes them clumsy and must restrict their vision, what is the point? Fashion?
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Old 7th October 2017, 05:04 PM   #323
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Some of the ones about space flight and ships don't bug me because, as impossible as they are, you just can't tell the stories without them, because the reality we're stuck with for space flight is just not a good setup for stories.

But one that does bug me is when a fictional universe is set up to have lots of different intelligent species in it but somehow just about only humans end up on screen (and that really includes "aliens" that are just humans anyway, like Romulans and Zabraks). I understand the problem of visual effects, and the more subtle issue of audience ability to connect to the characters they see, but, if you're going to mostly have just humans anyway, there's an easy solution: just set up the universe in such a way that aliens wouldn't be expected! Let the populations of whatever number of civilized planets you want just be human colonies!
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Old 7th October 2017, 05:27 PM   #324
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A couple of things on SW and gravity manipulation. The strongest field we see in the movies is the Death Star tractor beam which is capable of snaring and then preventing the Falcon from escaping at a distance of hundred if not thousands of miles.

On the Legends Cannon, there is also Centerpoint Station, which was used to draw planets into the Corellia System and place them into orbits about the sun, and later was used as a weapon to destroy planets in other systems. Now while the technology behind Centerpoint seems to have been lost to the "current" inhabitants of the galaxy, it would indicate that their ability to manipulate and create gravity fields is still pretty substantial.

The Ancients in the Legends SW Universe were pretty powerful in this regard, also creating the Kessel Maw, basically an artificially constructed star cluster made up entirely of Black Holes!
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Old 7th October 2017, 05:31 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
But one that does bug me is when a fictional universe is set up to have lots of different intelligent species in it but somehow just about only humans end up on screen (and that really includes "aliens" that are just humans anyway, like Romulans and Zabraks). I understand the problem of visual effects, and the more subtle issue of audience ability to connect to the characters they see, but, if you're going to mostly have just humans anyway, there's an easy solution: just set up the universe in such a way that aliens wouldn't be expected! Let the populations of whatever number of civilized planets you want just be human colonies!
Interesting setup for a possible hard sci-fi story that could follow the alien motif: In the near future humanity sets up colonies on Mars, Europa, couple of other places maybe but some natural disaster or war or something forces the Earth to give up spaceflight for a few generations and the colonies have to fend for themselves, with the cultures diverting hard which causes conflicts with they all come back into contact.
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Old 7th October 2017, 05:55 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Why the **** do Storm troopers wear such totally useless armour? It does nothing to protect them from weapons, makes them clumsy and must restrict their vision, what is the point? Fashion?
OK, I'll bite.

Well the obvious guess would be that it protects them some of the time. Depending on the specific conditions.

For example, it protects them from shrapnel where energy weapons explode objects near them.

Perhaps it protects them from energy weapons at a particular distance.

Perhaps it protects them from brief exposures or reflections.

Having your eyes burned out every time someone discharges a weapon within a mile of you would be a tad inconvenient wouldn't it?

Let's apply your scenario to the current world...

Current body armour doesn't protect wearers from every possible weapon all the time, so no Police Officer/soldier should ever wear body armour at any time amirite?

Sounds like severe imagination failure on your part to me.
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Old 7th October 2017, 06:34 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Interesting setup for a possible hard sci-fi story that could follow the alien motif: In the near future humanity sets up colonies on Mars, Europa, couple of other places maybe but some natural disaster or war or something forces the Earth to give up spaceflight for a few generations and the colonies have to fend for themselves, with the cultures diverting hard which causes conflicts with they all come back into contact.
I still wish the Abrams reboot of Star Trek had really been a reboot like what I first thought of when I saw the first poster for it.

Eric Bana's character was a Romulan, but the poster was so shadowy and silhouettey that the only unusual feature that jumped out at me was the tattoo (or paint I suppose) on his head... which first made me think of Klingons... which, given that it was a smooth head with color obviously deliberately applied, would turn Klingons into not a bumpy-headed alien species but a different culture of humans who, among other differences, mark their heads like this for whatever reasons which could have been fun to work through... which would mean that probably all other Trek humanoids would also be rebooted as culturally redifferentiated (and possibly gengineered) humans... for which the obvious backstory, given that they're frequently interacting with each other now with warp technology, was that they came from what had originally been colonies established at much slower speeds (pre-warp or at least significantly less warpy warp) and thus given time in isolation before faster transportation (warp as we now know it) became possible... sort of a rerun of what actually happened on Earth, now that I think about it. And we'd need to realign the time scale to more like 4000 years in the future instead of 400.
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Old 7th October 2017, 09:56 PM   #328
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
OK, I'll bite.

Well the obvious guess would be that it protects them some of the time. Depending on the specific conditions.

For example, it protects them from shrapnel where energy weapons explode objects near them.

Perhaps it protects them from energy weapons at a particular distance.

Perhaps it protects them from brief exposures or reflections.
None of those things are even hinted at in the movies. Can you think of a single instance of Stormtrooper armour offering protection of any sort?

The problem isn't with the fact that they are shown wearing armour, the problem is with how the armour is depicted. It's not shown to have any use.

Quote:
Having your eyes burned out every time someone discharges a weapon within a mile of you would be a tad inconvenient wouldn't it?
So why doesn't that happen to the rebels who aren't wearing armour or "blast helmets"?
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Old 7th October 2017, 10:26 PM   #329
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Well, that's just a sub-case of the more general Armour Is Useless trope.

It's not even just a SW, or even just a SF trope. In "historical" movies like The Eagle, you see Roman soldiers wearing a lorica segmentata, and a hit diagonally ACROSS the plates goes right through like it's just painted cardboard. Which it probably is.

Or in Vikings, swords and axes slash right through maille or even (ahistorical for the time and place) lamellar armour.

But even in SW, it goes farther than stormtroopers. It's canon for example that X-Wing have shields, and there is talk in the movies about equalizing shiellds and whatnot. Yet invariably a single hit blows up an X-Wing. Every. Single. Time.

Makes you wonder why do they bother weighing themselves down with shield generators and the larger power plant to suppy them.
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Old 7th October 2017, 10:54 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, that's just a sub-case of the more general Armour Is Useless trope.
Yep.

Quote:
But even in SW, it goes farther than stormtroopers. It's canon for example that X-Wing have shields, and there is talk in the movies about equalizing shiellds and whatnot. Yet invariably a single hit blows up an X-Wing. Every. Single. Time.
Well, almost every time. Both Luke and Wedge take hits in their X-Wings at the battle of Yavin without getting blown up.
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Old 8th October 2017, 12:01 AM   #331
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I have some experience with armour (historical armour at least - I have no experience with modern battlefield-style armour), and I can say that it is always restrictive. It is heavy, it restricts your movement, and if it provides any protection to your face at all, it restricts your vision. Stormtrooper armour is not unusual in that regard.

The bigger issue is as Robo and Hans have pointed out, it just doesn't seem to work. Armour works - the more restrictive it is, the more protection it affords. That's the universal tradeoff.
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Old 8th October 2017, 12:50 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Well, almost every time. Both Luke and Wedge take hits in their X-Wings at the battle of Yavin without getting blown up.
Is that one of Lucas's rewrites? I don't remember any of the blasts actually connecting with Luke's X-Wing.
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Old 8th October 2017, 02:24 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mentioning heat reminds me of another lulz: stealth in space.

The most trivial issue being stealth while having the thrusters on, like both the Romulans and Klingons do all the time. I don't care how you bend light around the hull, you're ejecting a huge trail of very very fast particles. Whatever particles your engine produces. A lot of them are going to be ionized (or even all), and they're going to be fast, which means they're going to just emit a lot of high energy photons. (Which in turn ensures more willl be ionized.) They'll interact with the matter around in space, for even more photons, and they'll scatter light from the local star like a comet tail.

Briefly: even if your ship itself is 100% invisible, that won't do you much good when you have an AU worth of glowing trail pointing at you. It's like trying to make a transparent bullet... which is also a tracer. No matter how good you get at the former, the latter will mean it's still very visible.

But let's say you just coast with the engines off for most of the approach.

Well, here comes problem #2. The cosmic microwave background has a temperature of about 2.7K. Unless you're at that temperature, i.e., about 10 degrees lower than when hydrogen starts solidifying on your hull, you're going to stand out in the infrared or microwave spectrum.

And in practice you're going to be a lot hotter than that, because you have to SOMEHOW dissipate energy. Every human, every computer, every piece of machinery running, every lightbulb, is going to produce heat. And your ONLY way of getting rid of it is to go Stefan-Boltzmann on its ass, and basically have some radiators that release it into space. Like the panels on the space station. Most likely it's going to be your hull, since it's already big and pointing outwards.

And it gets worse if you look at stuff like the insanely high power output of warp cores in ST, and the about 17.8% efficiency we calculated. They're going to release about 5 times their rated power output as heat. Which you have to release in space somehow. Those spaceships are going to shine and stand out like a star over Bethlehem.

Fine, someone will say, we'll just have the radiators pointing backwards, so whatever we're attacking doesn't see the infrared. Not so fast. First of all, SOME heat is still going to leak through or along the hull's metal. So you're just standing out a little less, but you're still standing out.

Second, that still only helps within a cone to the front of the ship. Now you made it MORE visible from behind, since all energy is going out that-a-way. Any half-way competent enemy will figure out how to counter it, at least within its systems: have a number of detection stations or drones scattered all around the system, and scanning in all directions. It doesn't even take many to make it impossible to hide your heatsinks from ALL of them.

And even in deep space battles, anyone who's encountered your stealth ships before, will be accutely aware that you're only hidden from one direction. So what can they do about it? Well, just launch half a dozen torpedo-sized drones that scan for infrared in a full 360 degrees.

They can be very small and cheap, in fact, so even a small vessel like the NX-01 could carry hundreds of them. And unless you shoot them down, they're reusable. And if you DO shoot at them, well, you just signalled where you are.
Note: Those particle emissions are reason why Starfleet was able to track them. (Although writers made it look hard)

Anyway, not sure how feasible it is, but one could store heat output in some sort of material. (Used in I-war2 Edge of Chaos, used also in IIRC Mass Effect universum.
Also ME universe had solution for thruster emissions - use of shifted ME field to cause ship to slide through space.

There were in ST number of ways to detect cloaked starship:
http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/C...ting_the_cloak

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Is that one of Lucas's rewrites? I don't remember any of the blasts actually connecting with Luke's X-Wing.
IIRC that was in original script too. (R2-D2 had to fix stabilizer) Still, shot got through shields...
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Old 8th October 2017, 03:02 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Is that one of Lucas's rewrites? I don't remember any of the blasts actually connecting with Luke's X-Wing.
I remembered it vaguely so I went on youtube to look it up. Luke is being trailed by a TIE fighter and gets hit and says "I'm hit but not bad, R2 see what you can do with it." Wedge then manages to take out the fighter that was trailing him.

He also gets hit another time, when Vader hits R2, but as it really does look like the blast connects directly with R2 and nowhere else I didn't think I should count that.
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Old 8th October 2017, 03:13 AM   #335
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Sorta. ST uses technobabble like detecting tetryon emissions from the core and such.

What I'm talking about is much more mundane stuff, like the huge plume of hot and ionized helium from the fusion-powered impulse engines. And about very ordinary photons.

Ionized gas is actually opaque to light. You don't see it in everyday life, because very little is ionized, but it's for example the reason for the double-flash of a nuke. Air fully ionizes a short time after the flash starts, and becomes opaque, so it seems like the flash just dimmed. You see the second flash after the fireball expaneded and cooled enough to become transparent again. So essentially you see the end of the same flash.

ANYWAY, what would happen is that in addition to emitting photons just because it's a moving charged particle, it would absorb and reemit nearby photons from the Sun or from other sources. Such as the rest of the same plume. So effectively it scatters light real good.

You don't need anything more complex than a camera, preferably one with a very wide spectrum, to see that glowing plume. Or probably you could just look out the window.

I realize though that it may not be as exciting as looking of tetryons and other such made up particles, so I guess the ST writers do what they have to do...
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Old 8th October 2017, 03:21 AM   #336
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Now for the other issue: storing heat DOES work. RL stealth planes can store heat in the fuel tanks for a short while. Not to become invisible in the infrared, mind you, but just to be less bright than the flares they just threw, when someone shot a heat-seeking missile at them.

The same COULD work for a spaceship waiting in ambush, assuming it really turned everything off but the most basic life support. But really, it's short term and we're back at it being only really useful for an ambush.


I suppose the Romulans would have an easier time of it, though, because you know what is REALLY good at absorbing any amount of energy? Yeah, a black hole like the one they have as a power source.

Only problem is, you have a very hot black hole for it to be any use, and I'm not sure if you could engineer a heat pump that can create an even higher temperature so the black hole essentially works in reverse.

I suppose you COULD use the heat to vapourize some liquid, or better yet, solid, since phase transformations can use a lot of energy. Then dump the gas into the black hole.
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Old 8th October 2017, 03:34 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Anyway, not sure how feasible it is, but one could store heat output in some sort of material. (Used in I-war2 Edge of Chaos, used also in IIRC Mass Effect universum.
That's possible, but I don't think it's going to be a very versatile solution.

So, basically instead of radiating your heat out into space you radiate it into some substance with a high heat capacity. Maybe you can even start your mission with that substance at a very low temperature to increase the total potential heat it can absorb. You will have to spend some energy (and thus create even more heat) on your heat pump to cool your spacecraft and move heat into that material, and the greater the differential the more energy you'll have to spend. I'm not sure what the limit is, but it's not going to be all that high. My A/C can probably cool my room to 15 degrees C when it's 30 C outside, but not much better than that.

The efficiency of heat pumps goes down with the temperature difference you are trying to create. Eventually the ratio of the amount of energy you need to move 1 joule of heat energy from your ship to your heat sink will reach 1, but the energy to run the heat pump still produces heat and thus you will not have achieved anything. So, optimistically, without running the numbers and assuming some advanced technology maybe we can get that material's temperature to a couple of hundred degrees above the ambient temperature of the ship. We keep it well insulated and once it's reached it's peak temp. jettison it into space. Now we'll have some time before the insulation heats up and starts emitting thermal radiation. Then we start pumping heat into the next batch of material.

But given that it can't reach very high temperatures this way, we're going to need a lot of material to absorb the energy expenditures of our starship. Only, this is massive stuff. You've greatly increased the mass of your ship in order to hide it's thermal signature.

I think the idea is a valid one, but it's not a cure all. It might make some sense in some limited scenarios but doesn't let you just go "okay, so we can use cloaking after all" and then ignore the logistics of it.

ETA: Looks like Hans and I crossposted.
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Old 8th October 2017, 05:24 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post

Why the **** do Storm troopers wear such totally useless armour? It does nothing to protect them from weapons, makes them clumsy and must restrict their vision, what is the point? Fashion?
Are we sure all those troopers who go down are actually killed? Maybe their armour has stopped the round enough to knock them out and bang them about a bit but not killed them. This might explain why the troopers who "stun" princess Leia at the start of the film act so sang froid about one of their mates being shot in front of them:

"Set for stun" *zap* "She'll be ok (apart from the two broken arms we're about to give her for just slotting TK 1459 right now!)"
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Old 8th October 2017, 05:52 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I have some experience with armour (historical armour at least - I have no experience with modern battlefield-style armour), and I can say that it is always restrictive. It is heavy, it restricts your movement, and if it provides any protection to your face at all, it restricts your vision. Stormtrooper armour is not unusual in that regard.

The bigger issue is as Robo and Hans have pointed out, it just doesn't seem to work. Armour works - the more restrictive it is, the more protection it affords. That's the universal tradeoff.
I have been involved with Roman living history groups for ydars.
I have a set of 1st century Segmentata and a rivited mail Hamata.
Sword slashes wouldn't breach either of them and the Segmentata would stop a sword or spear thrust. My mail is 6mm internal diameter alternate rows of riveted rings and 'solid' rings. It would need an epic thrust to pierce.
In combat legionaries were trained to thrust at arms, faces groins and legs .
I am currently putting together a 9th century Dane/Saxon impression and the mail is riveted 9mm rings with leather backing. As with the Roman mail it would be difficult to break with a sword.
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Old 8th October 2017, 06:00 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
Are we sure all those troopers who go down are actually killed? Maybe their armour has stopped the round enough to knock them out and bang them about a bit but not killed them. This might explain why the troopers who "stun" princess Leia at the start of the film act so sang froid about one of their mates being shot in front of them:

"Set for stun" *zap* "She'll be ok (apart from the two broken arms we're about to give her for just slotting TK 1459 right now!)"
It would appear that that is the only time in the Star Wars Universe that the stun setting is explicitly used.
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Old 8th October 2017, 12:35 PM   #341
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
It would appear that that is the only time in the Star Wars Universe that the stun setting is explicitly used.
Luckily they all wear that standard issue armour which stops all the kill-o-blast rounds that normally get squirted all over the place.
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Old 8th October 2017, 01:50 PM   #342
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So, they fly along the trench on the Death Star that is miles and miles in length on a curved surface. Why is it flat?
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Old 8th October 2017, 02:17 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
So, they fly along the trench on the Death Star that is miles and miles in length on a curved surface. Why is it flat?
Maybe size sufficient for curvature to be masked by high speed, locally insignificant and maybe by surface things.
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Old 8th October 2017, 07:01 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I have some experience with armour (historical armour at least - I have no experience with modern battlefield-style armour), and I can say that it is always restrictive. It is heavy, it restricts your movement, and if it provides any protection to your face at all, it restricts your vision. Stormtrooper armour is not unusual in that regard.

The bigger issue is as Robo and Hans have pointed out, it just doesn't seem to work. Armour works - the more restrictive it is, the more protection it affords. That's the universal tradeoff.
Well, more to the WTH point about armour in movies, the corolary is that IRL you only put up with those restriction BECAUSE it works to keep you alive. You don't keep it just to look cool.

IRL when muskets became commonplace and they started going right through a gothic armour, people ditched the gothic armour in favour of just a thick breastplate and helmet that could still stop a ball. When firearms further evolved to make even those obsolete, people just ditched both altogether. Because it makes no sense to encumber yourself with a lot of steel that does nothing to protect you.

The most recent examples of that clearly in action are as recent as WW1, actually. And yes, it's a plural.

- The Germans started with that lobster-armour to protect from bullets, except it was heavy, and it didn't stop a rifle bullet. So the soldiers just ditched it.

- The Canadians, bless their souls, started with a spade with a hole in it, so you could put your rifle through it and be shielded from bullets. Except it was crap as a shield, since again it wasn't nearly thick enough to stop a rifle bullet, and it was crap as a spade, since it was too heavy and it had a big hole in it. So again, that got phased out in favour of something that didn't even pretend to stop a bullet, but was lightweight and did the job of digging a trench.

- Almost all nations had some big metal shields, sort of like half a pillbox of sorts, that went over the front and top of their Maxim machineguns. Except what it did in practice was signal your position to every single sniper and artillery spotter out there. And it didn't really protect against either. So again soldiers either ditched it, or placed it somewhere 100m away where nobody was hiding behind it. Sure, shell THAT position with your artillery, thank you very much.

Etc.

Invariably, across all human history, when armour didn't do the job, it didn't stay in use.

Which really is the actual WTH about armour in fiction. The actual WTH isn't that some armour might not stop bullets or blaster shots. The big WTH is that people still use it, in spite of its doing worse than nothing in that universe.

If stormtrooper armour actually doesn't stop bullets, AND it blocks your vision, then WHY encumber your troops in it? If whatever banded armour that legion got in The Eagle was so bad that a lightweight thrown axe can hit diagonally across the bands and go right through, then same question: why encumber the legion with it?

You'd think that after the first few get killed in some skirmish due to their armour offering no protection, people wouuld want
A) some other armour, and
B) the armour merchant's head on a pike
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Old 8th October 2017, 07:04 PM   #345
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Devil's Advocate.

Is the Stormtrooper getup ever explicitly called armor? Maybe it's just a uniform.

I mean the Empire doesn't really seem to put much value on individual troopers. They seem to have a Zerg Rush / Quantity over Quality philosophy to most things.
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Old 8th October 2017, 08:29 PM   #346
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As far as i can tell, stormtrooper armor is there to protect everyone slse from tbe stormtroopers.

It's pretty effective.
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Old 9th October 2017, 01:28 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Devil's Advocate.

Is the Stormtrooper getup ever explicitly called armor? Maybe it's just a uniform.

I mean the Empire doesn't really seem to put much value on individual troopers. They seem to have a Zerg Rush / Quantity over Quality philosophy to most things.
Whatever you call it, the problem is the exact same: unless it provides SOME advantage that outweighs the disadvantages AND cost, then any sane people wouldn't use it.

Essentially there's a reason nobody issues full suits of gothic plate as uniforms. They're heavy, they're expensive, the helmet resticts your vision severely, and they don't really do anything for you that some clothes wouldn't. Just calling it a uniform instead of armour doesn't remove the issue that it's not a practical thing to wear in combat.
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Old 19th October 2017, 07:47 PM   #348
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Well, I'm returning to this with yet another peeve, and this time it really is a peeve. It's where I've flat out stopped watching Ascension: the idea that scientists not only normally work isolated in some ivory tower, but that they work BETTER if you put them in a tin can with no contact to the outside world to distract them.

Look,

- scientists also work better with access to the latest scientific information (as opposed to at best 2.5 years later because that's where a starship would get it, but most likely none is the idea I'm getting from Ascension.)

- they work best with a wide pool of the best quaified team members, as opposed one single medical doctor for the whole ship, and whatever inbred twit (it's only 600 souls in that can, and it's divided into the upper and lower decks, who don't interbreed) was the least bad to take as an apprentice. Normally someone qualified to even be in the post-grad program, much less a researcher, is from skimming a pool of millions, not just whoever was the brightest inbred twit from about 100 candidates most from the equivalent of a small isolated mountain village.

- they also work best with whatever equipment and materials are needed for their research and testing. Those costs in the million for some research topics aren't just salary for one smart guy thinking it all up. You're not going to whip up an electron microscope, or yes an MRI since they explicitly mention that in Ascension, from junk salvaged around a sealed spaceship.

- they also work best with statistically significant populations (whether of people, animals, rocks, whatever) to test their theories on.

Etc.

The idea that complete isolation is BETTER for progress is... let's just say, it's how China got from having cannons and all sorts of crazy tech at the start of the Ming Dynasty, to polearms by the "Great" Qing dynasty. It's how Japan was still using obsolete matchlock arquebuses 200 years after they got the already obsolete design from some Dutch. It's NOT what accelerates progress.
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Old 3rd August 2018, 09:41 AM   #349
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So I decided to resurrect this thread to throw around one more bit of information for whoever might benefit from it when writing or discussing SF: the best stars for life (well, at least for human colonist life) are really those like our sun. The more you deviate, the crappier things start to be.

The problem at both sides of the spectrum are flares.

And they're really the worst for red dwarfs. Which ironically were often considered the best chance for long term colonization, because they tend to burn their fuel very slowly and could easily last a couple trillion years on the main sequence. So theoretically you could jolly well live there until the Big Rip... if it weren't for the part where it's actually impossible to live there.

The scenario that makes it a problem starts with them being both smaller AND cooler. Which means the energy put out is first limited by surface emitting it AND the energy flux from the surface. Well the first is proportional to the square of the radius, while the latter is proportional to the fourth power of the temperature. Both radius and temperature are lower than for our sun, so when you factor both in, a habitable planet would have to be VERY close to the star. We're talking distances measured in single digit millions of km, or 10 to 50 times closer than our Earth is to the Sun.

In fact, as I said at the beginning of the thread, despite being a dwarf, it would look huge in the sky of a habitable planet, because it needs to be that much closer.

Which creates the first problem: tidal lock. Just like the moon shows the same face to Earth, Mercury does the same with the Sun, and your habitable zone planet would do the same with its red dwarf sun. Which ought to create huge temperature differences between the two sides, and likely winds that can sandblast through face-hardened steel.

But that's the least of problems.

The next big problem is that the vast majority of red dwarves tend to be flare stars. With less pressure to keep things together, they are likely to throw really big flares. Which might be inconventient if you were far away from them, but you're not. A habitable planet would have to be real close to the star. A well aimed flare could literally nuke the surface facing the sun, and possibly even blow away a good portion of the atmosphere.

But wait, it gets even better.

The real big problem is that all red dwarves are convective stars. They have very strong magnetic fields, and rather unpredictable ones at that. The magnetic field component added by convection, compared to the rotation of the star, is massive, and can add up to massive peaks in the equatorial plane or random other directions. Long story short, they tend to pretty much periodically BLOW UP. Well, not the whole star, but think quite the mega-flare explosion on the surface, emitting massively more energy as light than usual and quite the flux of charged particles.

We've actually observed such a massive explosion on Proxima Centauri some 2 years ago, where the massively bright outburst lasted only a couple of seconds, but could be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The explosion would have completely sterilized Proxima Centauri B, a planet in its habitable range, as well as probably blown off most of the atmosphere if it had any. (But likely previous explosions took care of that.)

So yeah, no, colonies around red dwarfs are not really gonna happen.
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Old 4th August 2018, 06:01 AM   #350
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I’ve criticized the storm-trooper armor many times. Not only does it seem to offer little protection (even from sticks and rocks...) It’s issued in a nice, glaring white.

In the forest scenes in Empire Strikes Back, the poor troopers stand out like a sore thumb.

I’d think an advanced suit of armor would be mimetic... blending into the background much as the “Predator’s” outfit did.
But Lucas apparently likes big battles staged much like Revolutionary or Napoleonic war battles, with big groups of closely-spaced fighters blasting away at each other. Seldom does anyone hide or dig a foxhole.....
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Old 4th August 2018, 06:02 AM   #351
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Mercury shows the same face to the Sun? Per wiki
For many years it was thought that Mercury was synchronously tidally locked with the Sun, rotating once for each orbit and always keeping the same face directed towards the Sun, in the same way that the same side of the Moon always faces Earth. Radar observations in 1965 proved that the planet has a 3:2 spin–orbit resonance, rotating three times for every two revolutions around the Sun. The eccentricity of Mercury's orbit makes this resonance stable—at perihelion, when the solar tide is strongest, the Sun is nearly still in Mercury's sky.
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Old 4th August 2018, 06:46 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I’ve criticized the storm-trooper armor many times. Not only does it seem to offer little protection (even from sticks and rocks...) It’s issued in a nice, glaring white.

In the forest scenes in Empire Strikes Back, the poor troopers stand out like a sore thumb.

I’d think an advanced suit of armor would be mimetic... blending into the background much as the “Predator’s” outfit did.
But Lucas apparently likes big battles staged much like Revolutionary or Napoleonic war battles, with big groups of closely-spaced fighters blasting away at each other. Seldom does anyone hide or dig a foxhole.....
Whereas the Rebels do have appropriate colours.

I also think Lucas wanted for the Empire to consciously be black and white:
Darth Vader - Black, Death Star uniforms - Black, Stormtroopers - Black, Star destroyers - White. Whilst the Rebels had more naturalistic colourschemes.
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Old 4th August 2018, 09:50 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Mercury shows the same face to the Sun? Per wiki
For many years it was thought that Mercury was synchronously tidally locked with the Sun, rotating once for each orbit and always keeping the same face directed towards the Sun, in the same way that the same side of the Moon always faces Earth. Radar observations in 1965 proved that the planet has a 3:2 spin–orbit resonance, rotating three times for every two revolutions around the Sun. The eccentricity of Mercury's orbit makes this resonance stable—at perihelion, when the solar tide is strongest, the Sun is nearly still in Mercury's sky.
Well, looks like my information was severely outdated. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 4th August 2018, 03:26 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, looks like my information was severely outdated. Thanks for the correction.
You're correct that Mercury is tidally locked, but it's not synchronous. I suppose however that the exoplanets which are much closer to their primary stars than Mercury is do indeed always show the same face to the star.
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Old 4th August 2018, 03:43 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Which brings up another oft repeated sci fi flaw: predators without a source of prey until the humans show up.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Oh aye. Bonus points where its something silicon based or whatever, living in a volcano, and which needs humans to parasitize. As seen in for example the X Files.

Or the silicon based space virus from Enterprise. How the heck did that evolve or reproduce until humamns came around?
yes, I can suspend disbelief around physics but evolution is so fundamental that natural selection would happen any universe where there are finite resources, and imperfect self-replication.
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Old 8th September 2018, 09:50 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
yes, I can suspend disbelief around physics but evolution is so fundamental that natural selection would happen any universe where there are finite resources, and imperfect self-replication.
And I just caught an episode of Star Trek - Enterprise yesterday where they had a teleological view of evolution. Two humanoid species on a planet and one had reached its time so was degenerating to allow the younger species to have its turn.

Lots wrong with that.
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Old 8th September 2018, 12:12 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
And I just caught an episode of Star Trek - Enterprise yesterday where they had a teleological view of evolution. Two humanoid species on a planet and one had reached its time so was degenerating to allow the younger species to have its turn.

Lots wrong with that.
As much wrong as the Voyager episode where someone breaks warp 10 so experiences the next 10,000 years of human evolution? FFS.
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Old 8th September 2018, 02:08 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
As much wrong as the Voyager episode where someone breaks warp 10 so experiences the next 10,000 years of human evolution? FFS.
Look at my threads where I was disagreeing with Articulett and Cyborg (amongst others) over whether evolution was deterministic for my view on that.

Or don't bother - adaptation occurs to the environment but the manner and particular adaptation is not predetermined and can take many forms, and the whole selective landscape is subject to feedback looks and random changes.
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US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 8th September 2018, 03:16 PM   #359
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
As much wrong as the Voyager episode where someone breaks warp 10 so experiences the next 10,000 years of human evolution? FFS.
The Outer Limits did it first with "Sixth Finger".
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Old 8th September 2018, 03:48 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
As much wrong as the Voyager episode where someone breaks warp 10 so experiences the next 10,000 years of human evolution? FFS.
What about questionable or antiquated Psychology Therapy. In Star Trek TOS 'Wolf in the Fold" they take Scotty down to Argelius so he doesn't develop a total resentment of women because he was injured in an accidental explosion caused by a women! (Those lousy, broads! Why I oughta'!)

It makes perfect sense!

Quote:
KIRK: We won't leave without you, Scotty. Relax and enjoy yourself. (Scott and Kara leave) My work is never done.
MCCOY: My work, Jim. This is prescription stuff. Don't forget, the explosion that threw Scotty against a bulkhead was caused by a woman.
KIRK: Physically he's all right. Am I right in assuming that?
MCCOY: Oh, yes, yes. As a matter of fact, considerable psychological damage could have been caused. For example, his total resentment toward women.
KIRK: He seems he's overcoming his resentment.
MCCOY: Of course, in my professional opinion, when he gets back to the ship, he's going to hate you for making him leave Argelius. But then he will have lost total resentment toward women.
KIRK: Mission accomplished as far as Scotty is concerned. Bones, I know a little place across town where the women
MCCOY: Oh yes. I know the place. Let's go.
http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/36.htm
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