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Old 4th October 2017, 11:33 AM   #281
HansMustermann
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Well, not everyone can have an Infinite Improbability Drive, so they must make do with what they have instead

Well, more seriously, it may be stupid, but it's physically correct
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Old 4th October 2017, 11:49 AM   #282
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Did they ever say that the Romulan singularity was evaporating?
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Old 4th October 2017, 12:04 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
3. Antimatter is actually a crap way to store energy.

I mean, sure, it has the density, but if you were to, say, convert electricity to antimatter to store that energy, the maximum theoretical efficiency you could POSSIBLY achieve is 50%. Why? Well, the Law of Baryon Number Conservation says that when turning energy into matter, equal amounts of matter and antimatter must be created. So half of your power goes into making more ordinary hydrogen.
But when you annihilate matter and anti-matter, you get the energy of both being destroyed, not just the antimatter. So that 50% ordinary hydrogen you create is also energy storage. You may lose energy to neutrinos and other hard to use output of that annihilation, but you aren't losing energy from the fact that only half of what you created was antimatter.
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Old 4th October 2017, 12:04 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Did they ever say that the Romulan singularity was evaporating?
I think they just assumed we'd go "Ooh! A black hole as an energy source" and not question it further.
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Old 4th October 2017, 01:16 PM   #285
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Well last time I read an article on it the hypothetical Alcubierre Drive (which is sorta at this point the closest thing to a Star Trek Warp Drive we have on even the theoretical table) the power requirements for such a drive are astronomical (higher range estimates put it "The total potential energy greater than all the matter in observable universe).

So even within the so soft you can spread it on a bagel science of Star Trek we can buy that Warp Drives take a lot of energy. I can buy that you can't just run a Starship on diesel in the Star Trek universe. You need at least a nuclear reaction (I'm not sure if it has been outright stated in cannon but I got the impression the Phoenix used nuclear material from the original missile warhead to generate enough power to generate the short, few second long "Proof of concept" Warp Speed it obtained) and more likely something more exotic like matter/anti-matter reactions, singularities, or an infinite buttered toast cat array.

So we can safely assume that regardless of exact method of generation all the long range big warp ships in Star Trek are outputting a lot of energy.

So why do they ever have power restrictions? Running the rest of the ship, all the systems and lights and power and displays and laboratories should only take a tiny, tiny fraction of that level of power output. But all the time on Star Trek we here some variation on "We need more energy from X transfer power from Y" which to me seems like someone trying to make a 747 flight from London to New York go faster by turning off that little reading lamp at their seat.

If you have a power source capable of bending space and time in order to break one of the most fundamental laws of the universe I don't see you having to really conserve power anywhere else. For instance a Star Trek universe star ship should be able to turn off it's main engines and have enough power for lights, life support, sensors, displays, and all that jazz... for pretty much ever. (I'll leave off things like weapons, transporters, replicators and maybe artificial gravity since they are all technobabble that maybe have huge power requirements of their own).
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Old 4th October 2017, 01:22 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It depends on the universe, I guess. Antigravity is ubiquitous in SW, but not very common in ST, for example.
You'd be surprised, actually. At least in regards to TNG, I don't think we ever saw a single thing of Federation design that moved on wheels. Even wheelchairs were antigrav. It's why a lot of fans complained about Picard's ground vehicle in Nemesis, since it broke that trend.
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Old 4th October 2017, 01:22 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Well last time I read an article on it the hypothetical Alcubierre Drive (which is sorta at this point the closest thing to a Star Trek Warp Drive we have on even the theoretical table) the power requirements for such a drive are astronomical (higher range estimates put it "The total potential energy greater than all the matter in observable universe).
And needs to be built from a form of matter thought not to exist.
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Old 4th October 2017, 03:32 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Did they ever say that the Romulan singularity was evaporating?
Well, it's the only known way to get energy out of it. And we know from Timescape that they can put out a hell of a lot of energy.

We also know you can just pump energy into one, from the same "Timescape" episode. Which is remarkably like a normal black hole. Also that to a species of black hole dwellers, their singularity is just like a normal black hole. So then to get that energy out, you use...?


Originally Posted by phunk View Post
But when you annihilate matter and anti-matter, you get the energy of both being destroyed, not just the antimatter. So that 50% ordinary hydrogen you create is also energy storage. You may lose energy to neutrinos and other hard to use output of that annihilation, but you aren't losing energy from the fact that only half of what you created was antimatter.
Well, true, but there are cheaper sources of hydrogen up there. Not the least being the Bussard collectors on your warp pylons.


Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Well last time I read an article on it the hypothetical Alcubierre Drive (which is sorta at this point the closest thing to a Star Trek Warp Drive we have on even the theoretical table) the power requirements for such a drive are astronomical (higher range estimates put it "The total potential energy greater than all the matter in observable universe).
Well, to at least one interpretation of WTH the warp bubble is. By the time of voyager it no longer sounds like a time-space distortion, but more like moving from normal space to subspace, whatever that is.

But then Voyager had a severe problem with remembering its own technobabble. Like, you have the captain more than once order full impulse to some star that's stated to be several light years away. So, err, doesn't she mean go to warp? Does she want to get there in a few years? So they may have gotten the whole subspace thing mixed up too.

That said, yes, that drive actually has more than one theoretical problem. Not the least being... well, remember the ST:TNG "New Ground" episode where they try to move a ship on soliton waves? And they realize mid-way through the experiment that the wave would obliterate the planet they were sending the ship to? Yeah, that's one of the possible problems of the Alcubierre Drive.

So, yeah, another thing ST predicted
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Old 4th October 2017, 03:42 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, it's the only known way to get energy out of it.
Dropping more stuff in or extracting rotational energy are other possibilities.
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Old 4th October 2017, 04:14 PM   #290
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I suppose, but the former actually removes the whole advantage of it also serving as energy storage, and just makes it a very heavy engine to haul around. And the latter seems somewhat inefficient compared to just taking the free photons. Plus both seem at odds with what happens in Timescape.

But more importantly, unless we have evidence to the contrary, shouldn't we assume that it works like a regular black hole?
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Old 4th October 2017, 04:24 PM   #291
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Both have the advantage of being controllable though. And the only way to control an evaporating black hole would be to drop more stuff in anyway.
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Old 4th October 2017, 05:43 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, to at least one interpretation of WTH the warp bubble is. By the time of voyager it no longer sounds like a time-space distortion, but more like moving from normal space to subspace, whatever that is.
Yeah I never got why occasionally dialog and plot points sometimes treated subspace as... an alternate dimension or something.

Quote:
But then Voyager had a severe problem with remembering its own technobabble. Like, you have the captain more than once order full impulse to some star that's stated to be several light years away. So, err, doesn't she mean go to warp? Does she want to get there in a few years? So they may have gotten the whole subspace thing mixed up too.
TNG did that a few times as well. On one occasions Picard ordered helm to go to Warp 3 and Helm responded "Aye Sir Maximum Impulse." I'm going to to a rare head cannon rewrite and just assume they were going to impulse to get out of the system before going to Warp. I'll ignore the fact that brings up even more problems.

And actually this address another common Warp/Impulse trope. The Shuttle Crafts. Now I know Star Trek wavered with enough regularity on this you could set an atomic clock by it but at least some (most) of the Shuttle Pods / Shuttle Craft where strictly impulse with things like the Runabouts / Captain Yacht's being the smallest warp ships we've seen. (And if some of the shuttle craft are Warp capable that begs the question you are putting a warp drive in a vessel I've never figured out where they fit anything since the interior space of those things seems to fill up the entire volume....).

But anyway all the time on TNG we had a crew member returning from Shore Leave or a Seminar or Bat'leth Tournament or whatever... in a shuttle craft.

Really think about the logistics and time frame on that and how little sense that makes.

Let's say you are traveling from Planet A to Planet B but on the trip you have to drop Crewman Timmy of on Planet C which is.... a light year detour off of the shortest distance between Planet's A and B.

You can't stay on your current course and just drop Crewman Timmy off in a Shuttle Craft 10 light years away. It will take him at least a year, probably more, to get there.

When you are traveling a several times light speed I can't really envision a scenario where dropping Crewman Timmy off "X Distance from his destination" where X distance is a distance that Crewman Timmy can reasonably travel in a sub-light ship that doesn't already put a FTL Ship... there. A distance you can travel in a few minutes is going to take months or years for them. There's just too much of a disparage in speed for this to make any sense.

I get that putting characters in situations where they are separate from the ship is just something have to be able to do for plot reasons but still.

I like one fan theory (that doesn't really work with what we see on screen and to be fair only works if you don't think about it too hard) was that some smaller craft didn't have full on Warp Engines but had Warp Field Substainers, so a ship travelling at warp could detach a shuttle and have the shuttle stay at warp (assuming at a constant speed) but couldn't actually accelerate to Warp Speed on their own. Tweak that idea around a little and it could almost work.

Or have it so that Shuttle Craft can operate at Warp but don't have actual engines but use... stored energy (Plasma or Fuel Cells or Techno-whatever-babble) like a battery instead of an engine so you have a shorter range.

Also if Trek could make up its mind if FTL movement is Newtonian or not that would be nifty.

Quote:
That said, yes, that drive actually has more than one theoretical problem. Not the least being... well, remember the ST:TNG "New Ground" episode where they try to move a ship on soliton waves? And they realize mid-way through the experiment that the wave would obliterate the planet they were sending the ship to? Yeah, that's one of the possible problems of the Alcubierre Drive.
There was a version of this I liked on a thematic and plot level, the Mass Effects Relays from Mass Effect.

Ship's can't travel faster than light on their own in the Mass Effect universe but use Mass Relays, essentially giant almost moon sized railguns that can accelerate ships to FTL speeds. This means ships can only travel on specific routes which is an interesting idea on a plot level.
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Old 4th October 2017, 05:56 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
2. The micro-singularity IS the energy storage too. You don't have to carry tons of antimatter around.
That's true, but depending on how difficult it is to make a micro-black hole, one shouldn't go around letting them evaporate too far. So however much energy you use from the thing, you will need to put that much back in.

The good thing is that the micro-black hole then just becomes a very efficient way of turning anything into a fuel source. Literally anything you like can be tossed into the black hole and turned into Hawking Radiation. And you don't need to carry it all with you. Passing space dust can be tossed in, or interstellar hydrogen (and you'll get much more energy out than a fusion drive would).

Quote:
3. Antimatter is actually a crap way to store energy.

I mean, sure, it has the density, but if you were to, say, convert electricity to antimatter to store that energy, the maximum theoretical efficiency you could POSSIBLY achieve is 50%. Why? Well, the Law of Baryon Number Conservation says that when turning energy into matter, equal amounts of matter and antimatter must be created. So half of your power goes into making more ordinary hydrogen.
I think it's likely a lot worse than that. When discussing the thermodynamics of anti-matter production in another thread, here's something Ziggurat pointed out to me:

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
An electron or positron's rest mass energy is about 511,000 eV. A typical room-temperature thermal photon has an energy of about 0.026 eV. So one electron or positron has the energy of about 20,000,000 room-temp thermal photons. The entropy difference here is gigantic. You can arrange your ~20,000,000 photons in so many more ways than you can arrange your one electron or positron (yes, I know they come in pairs). The task of converting energy from a high-entropy state to a low-entropy state is inefficient (you've got to expend energy to increase entropy elsewhere), and the larger the disparity in entropy, the more inefficient the process is. Energy concentrated into a particle is very low entropy. It gets much worse if you want to make a proton-antiproton pair, which you would probably need to do since storing large amounts of just positrons isn't likely to work.

Quote:
4. It's actually easier to control the output than some would think. You don't just have to throw matter in to keep the black hole from shrinking and exploding. You can control it by just supplying photons for it to absorb back.
But you do have to get those photons from somewhere. You can't be 100% efficient at moving the photons emitted by the black hole back into the black hole, so if you want to control the evaporation you will still need some sort of fuel source.

If you are treating the black hole as a battery rather than an engine (for taking ordinary matter and converting it to an energy source), then you don't have this problem, but you do have to worry about it running out.
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Old 4th October 2017, 07:53 PM   #294
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Well, since Romulan vessels also clearly have warp nacelles, and the geometry of leaving space between the nacelles is clearly there all the way to the huge D'deridex... yeah, I do indeed assume that the singularity is roughly the equivalent of the warp core on Fed vessels. Basically that it's the energy source for the actual warp propulsion.

Edit: That said, you don't have to be 100% efficient to beat the feds' engines. That soliton wave I mentioned is supposed to be 98% efficient, which is also stated to be 450% more efficient than the Enterprise's engine. So 98/5.5=17.8

Yep, the fed warp core has only 17.8% efficiency. (Which incidentally is also fairly plausible for an antimatter power plant.)
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Old 4th October 2017, 07:59 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
TNG did that a few times as well. On one occasions Picard ordered helm to go to Warp 3 and Helm responded "Aye Sir Maximum Impulse." I'm going to to a rare head cannon rewrite and just assume they were going to impulse to get out of the system before going to Warp. I'll ignore the fact that brings up even more problems.
I THINK that the way it's supposed to work, at least in theory, is that the warp bubble either compresses space or moves you into subspace, but the actual movement in either space is provided by the impulse engines.

In which case, it makes some sense to confirm that the impulse engines are engaged too. Otherwise the whole bubble just means you're going nowhere fast, as opposed to nowhere slow (Although it raises the question of why only confirm it sometimes, and sometimes not: a navy tends to have procedures, not go by the moment inspiration of whoever mans a station at the moment.)

But I think it's still a safe assumption that if the captain explicitly orders only the impulse engines engaged, then only that would happen. I.e., that they wouldn't engage the warp drives if the captain only ordered full impulse.

Unless, I guess, the crew was already so used to Janeway being insane, that they'd just roll their eyes and engage the warp nacelles anyway when Janeway orders them to spend 11 years going to the nearest star
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Old 4th October 2017, 08:08 PM   #296
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Without risking opening the door to the biggest nerd battle in pop culture I always liked Star War's "Hyperdrive" a little (although it also worked at the speed of Plot) better since on a functional level it seemed more like you weren't going through normal space.

Especially in a New Hope when the Falcon just sort of... appears in the debris field of Alderaan in a way that almost seems like they just sort of materialized there, not they they arrived there.

This was pretty much the only thing I liked about the Abrahms reboot universe.
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Old 4th October 2017, 08:13 PM   #297
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Well, I like both about as much per se. The SW universe does have the plus, though, that it kept a tight grip on its lore, so hyperdrive always worked the same in all incarnations. Whereas ST, especially after Gene died, just diverged in all directions, with every writer making something different up about every single thing.
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Old 5th October 2017, 02:25 AM   #298
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TOS is now available on Netflix so I've started watching it (never had the opportunity to watch it before).

Because it's bingable on Netflix I started with the Pilot, "The Cage". In it Capt. Pike clearly refers to "Time Warp Factor 7".

Does this mean that travel by Warp is actually Time Travel?
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Old 5th October 2017, 02:32 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by DarthFishy View Post
TOS is now available on Netflix so I've started watching it (never had the opportunity to watch it before).

Because it's bingable on Netflix I started with the Pilot, "The Cage". In it Capt. Pike clearly refers to "Time Warp Factor 7".

Does this mean that travel by Warp is actually Time Travel?
All FTL travel is in effect time travel.
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Old 5th October 2017, 02:59 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, since Romulan vessels also clearly have warp nacelles, and the geometry of leaving space between the nacelles is clearly there all the way to the huge D'deridex... yeah, I do indeed assume that the singularity is roughly the equivalent of the warp core on Fed vessels. Basically that it's the energy source for the actual warp propulsion.

Edit: That said, you don't have to be 100% efficient to beat the feds' engines. That soliton wave I mentioned is supposed to be 98% efficient, which is also stated to be 450% more efficient than the Enterprise's engine. So 98/5.5=17.8

Yep, the fed warp core has only 17.8% efficiency. (Which incidentally is also fairly plausible for an antimatter power plant.)
Lets not forget that the warp core requires Dilithium crystals - which are meant to be very rare so being able to get rid of your reliance on federation style warp cores would be a huge incentive for all the many races in ST.

For me the major issue I see with "engines" in ST are not the warp engines* but the impulse engines, these are sub-light engines so must obey TLOP in regards to reaction mass etc. Then we get into the issue of how much thrust can be generated from an apparently not that powerful source of energy. As far as I can recall it's never been said that impulse engines use any matter - so it is really the output power of the warp core that dictates the acceleration the impulse engines can provide. Which gets me to another bug bear which I think is a huge issue in the likes of ST & SW. Impulse power is always referenced as a speed and not an acceleration.

CPT: "Full impulse power to that planet, ensign"

ENSIGN:"Aye, Aye"

2 weeks pass....

CPT:"Why have we flown straight past the planet and getting further and further away every second ensign?"

ENSIGN:"But you said full impulse power...."

CPT:"On my ship you obey me not the Laws of Physics!!"




*we know that is not a matter of thrust etc, as it manipulates space-time so energy usage once formed may be anything, may take very little to sustain the "bubble" once formed.
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Old 5th October 2017, 04:16 AM   #301
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Aren't the impulse thrusters supposed to use fusion power? I think that's where the hydrogen from the Bussard scoops is supposed to go.

As for specifying speed, I guess you can always just stop accelerating once you've reached the desired speed. Though why would you want to stop accelerating early, if the purpose is just to get from point A to point B, well, that's another question. Probably best left to psychiatrists
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Old 5th October 2017, 04:24 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by DarthFishy View Post
TOS is now available on Netflix so I've started watching it (never had the opportunity to watch it before).

Because it's bingable on Netflix I started with the Pilot, "The Cage". In it Capt. Pike clearly refers to "Time Warp Factor 7".

Does this mean that travel by Warp is actually Time Travel?
Time travel comes much later in ST, and it's not quite the same thing. It involves going to insanely higher warp factors, by doing a slingshot run (gravity assist, really) around a star.

That said, yeah, they do refer it as "time warp factor" in the beginning.

I think it's just supposed to be the factor by which the time axis is compressed, bearing in mind that the scale is exponential not linear. Though later they just refer to warp factor, so I suppose all coordinates of the space-time are warped equally by then? Just a guess. They never actually explain what "time warp factor" means.
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Old 5th October 2017, 04:24 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Without risking opening the door to the biggest nerd battle in pop culture I always liked Star War's "Hyperdrive" a little (although it also worked at the speed of Plot) better since on a functional level it seemed more like you weren't going through normal space.
Well, warp drive is based on the Alcubierre drive, which is a real theoretical (though probably impossible) thing. Hyperspace is a complete invention.
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Old 5th October 2017, 04:53 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Well, warp drive is based on the Alcubierre drive, which is a real theoretical (though probably impossible) thing. Hyperspace is a complete invention.
Miguel Alcubierre was born in 1964. The original series of Star Trek aired in 1966.

I don't think the warp drive was based on the Alcubierre drive.
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Old 5th October 2017, 05:00 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Miguel Alcubierre was born in 1964. The original series of Star Trek aired in 1966.

I don't think the warp drive was based on the Alcubierre drive.
Yeah, my bad. I thought it was older, though the idea sure dates to prior to that. But since Alcubierre (what a cool name!) came up with a more-or-less physics-compliant idea since then, it at least has some basis in reality, compared to hyperspace.





Unless Alcubierre was really precocious.
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Old 5th October 2017, 06:26 AM   #306
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I rather admire authors like Jack Vance, who simply fluffed off the whole thing. The character gets into his space ship, programs the navigation for the destination, and activates the “space splitter”.
Off we go...
Vance was all about world building and sly comments on society rather than space travel.
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Old 5th October 2017, 09:46 AM   #307
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While I largely agree with your point as far as novels go, I'd say you kinda have to lay own the lore bible if you're going to have TV series (even SW had animated series), comics, games, etc, based on your universe. Or really even more than one movie, unless you're darn sure you'll have the same script writer every time.

Otherwise, everyone feels free to fill in the blanks in a completely different way. Which really is what happened to ST. Even with the parts that weren't blanks to start with.

Even if you didn't care much about the technobabble gizmos for your original story, unless you write a lore bible at some point, everyone will have some clever idea that depends on a whole other interpretation of what that "space splitter" does. Someone will think it splits a whole alternate universe each time you use it (kinda like time travel is treated in some universes) and build a mirror universe story with it. Someone else will think it mans going through an alternate space, and use it to warp behind some barrier which exists only in normal space. Yet another guy will think it is alternate space, but only along certain hyper-lanes, and build a blockade scenario around it. Yet another guy will think it might work by compressing space, and make up a clever use of that. Etc.

So basically unless you lay down your lore, sooner or later other people will do it for you. And they'll contradict each other wildly.

So, you know, necessary evil and all that...
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Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Old 5th October 2017, 10:32 AM   #308
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Gawd almighty, ain't we a bunch a nerds.
Wouldn't a starship "dropping out of warp" in a solar system release such huge amounts of energy, (radiation, kinetic, gravity waves) that said solar system would be fried?
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Old 5th October 2017, 10:39 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by kedo1981 View Post
Gawd almighty, ain't we a bunch a nerds.
Wouldn't a starship "dropping out of warp" in a solar system release such huge amounts of energy, (radiation, kinetic, gravity waves) that said solar system would be fried?
Shut up, nerd!
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Old 5th October 2017, 10:54 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by kedo1981 View Post
Gawd almighty, ain't we a bunch a nerds.
Wouldn't a starship "dropping out of warp" in a solar system release such huge amounts of energy, (radiation, kinetic, gravity waves) that said solar system would be fried?
How much radiation, kinetic energy, and/or gravity waves does being in or dropping out of warp create in reality?
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Old 5th October 2017, 11:12 AM   #311
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Basically it would create a literal Hell.

No wait that's the FTL drive in Event Horizon.
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Old 5th October 2017, 11:32 AM   #312
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My favorite FTL technobabble was in an old crappy pulp book. It went something like this: "since acceleration is always relative to an arbitrary reference frame, all you need for FTL is to accelerate to light speed, then pick a different reference frame and you can accelerate to light speed again. Repeat as many times as needed. Problem, nerds?"


Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
So why do they ever have power restrictions? Running the rest of the ship, all the systems and lights and power and displays and laboratories should only take a tiny, tiny fraction of that level of power output. But all the time on Star Trek we here some variation on "We need more energy from X transfer power from Y" which to me seems like someone trying to make a 747 flight from London to New York go faster by turning off that little reading lamp at their seat.

If you have a power source capable of bending space and time in order to break one of the most fundamental laws of the universe I don't see you having to really conserve power anywhere else. For instance a Star Trek universe star ship should be able to turn off it's main engines and have enough power for lights, life support, sensors, displays, and all that jazz... for pretty much ever. (I'll leave off things like weapons, transporters, replicators and maybe artificial gravity since they are all technobabble that maybe have huge power requirements of their own).
They may talk about "emergency power," but do you ever see them actually turn anything off? I don't remember that happening. It's always shuttling power from one energy-intensive thing to another, like engines to weapons, or weapons to shields.
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Old 5th October 2017, 12:05 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by kedo1981 View Post
Gawd almighty, ain't we a bunch a nerds.
Welcome to the club, brother

Originally Posted by kedo1981 View Post
Wouldn't a starship "dropping out of warp" in a solar system release such huge amounts of energy, (radiation, kinetic, gravity waves) that said solar system would be fried?
I could debate that, but instead I'll use it to illustrate that extension of Checkhov's Gun principle, that is really my position about it all.

- Do you NEED your engines to break relativity in your SF? Well, certain kinds of stellar empires or even civilizations can't exist without FTL. If you're writing the kind of story that needs FTL, sure, go for it.

- Do you NEED, say, to make a complete hash of genetics and generally biology to show that someone is the kid of two specific parents, by showing the genetic code from both interlaced on the same chromosome? It's actually wrong in more ways than one. (See, ST Enterprise.) Well, no, not really. The same plot twist of showing who the parents are, would work just as fine by just showing it has a chromosome from one parent and one from the other parent. So if you don't NEED to rewrite biology, then I'd really appreciate sticking to reality.

- Do you NEED something as absurd as a silicon based virus that targets humans? Again, it's not even just wrong in one way, it's wrong in a couple of different ways. If you have SOME valid story-related reason, sure, but if you just want a medical emergency, just stick to a carbon-based virus please.

Basically, all I'm really... wishing, is that people at least made a minimal effort to go for the minimum WTH factor. Change the parts of science or reality that are actually needed for the story, stick with what we already know about reality for the parts where rewriting reality brings nothing useful.
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Old 5th October 2017, 12:06 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
They may talk about "emergency power," but do you ever see them actually turn anything off? I don't remember that happening. It's always shuttling power from one energy-intensive thing to another, like engines to weapons, or weapons to shields.
And it always seems to give some huge advantage to the system with extra power. So really, you can add in another generator and have all of those running at high efficiency?

And then, of course, they seem to forget whatever hack they used to block those shield-piercing lasers or detect that cloaked ship by the next episode.
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Old 5th October 2017, 01:54 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I rather admire authors like Jack Vance, who simply fluffed off the whole thing. The character gets into his space ship, programs the navigation for the destination, and activates the “space splitter”.
Off we go...
Vance was all about world building and sly comments on society rather than space travel.
If you can get past the '40s era sexism, the Lensman series by E. E. Doc Smith are like that too. Simply by cancelling inertia, one can zip across the galaxy in mere seconds!
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Old 6th October 2017, 12:09 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Yeah I never got why occasionally dialog and plot points sometimes treated subspace as... an alternate dimension or something.



TNG did that a few times as well. On one occasions Picard ordered helm to go to Warp 3 and Helm responded "Aye Sir Maximum Impulse." I'm going to to a rare head cannon rewrite and just assume they were going to impulse to get out of the system before going to Warp. I'll ignore the fact that brings up even more problems.

And actually this address another common Warp/Impulse trope. The Shuttle Crafts. Now I know Star Trek wavered with enough regularity on this you could set an atomic clock by it but at least some (most) of the Shuttle Pods / Shuttle Craft where strictly impulse with things like the Runabouts / Captain Yacht's being the smallest warp ships we've seen. (And if some of the shuttle craft are Warp capable that begs the question you are putting a warp drive in a vessel I've never figured out where they fit anything since the interior space of those things seems to fill up the entire volume....).
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Beware: Shuttlecraft versus Shuttlepod and which decade one is talking about!
Federation shuttlecraft
First has warp nacelles outside, while the other doesn't have them.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
My favorite FTL technobabble was in an old crappy pulp book. It went something like this: "since acceleration is always relative to an arbitrary reference frame, all you need for FTL is to accelerate to light speed, then pick a different reference frame and you can accelerate to light speed again. Repeat as many times as needed. Problem, nerds?"



They may talk about "emergency power," but do you ever see them actually turn anything off? I don't remember that happening. It's always shuttling power from one energy-intensive thing to another, like engines to weapons, or weapons to shields.
Likely holodecks and similar non-essentials are turned off.

Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
And it always seems to give some huge advantage to the system with extra power. So really, you can add in another generator and have all of those running at high efficiency?

And then, of course, they seem to forget whatever hack they used to block those shield-piercing lasers or detect that cloaked ship by the next episode.
More like overclocking CPU or extra loading of system. Even if you can solve power issue, you still have heat...
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Old 6th October 2017, 05:17 PM   #317
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Also, I'm fairly sure that it was explicitly stated in the first couple of episodes of DS9 that the Runabout was a new design, and the smallest warp-capable ship available.

I could be misremembering that though.
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Old 7th October 2017, 06:31 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Also, I'm fairly sure that it was explicitly stated in the first couple of episodes of DS9 that the Runabout was a new design, and the smallest warp-capable ship available.

I could be misremembering that though.
According to Memory Alpha smallest Warp 5 capable craft.
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Old 7th October 2017, 08:41 AM   #319
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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.
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Old 7th October 2017, 08:50 AM   #320
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Agree Cloaking only makes sense for ambush, choke-point, and similar situations.

I can maybe imagine a scenario where two or more ships are traveling with one of them cloaked, say a cloaked ship protecting a transport or other high value target in a sort of Star Trek version of that "Two planes, one radar signature" trick the Soviets pulled in Top Gun.

My favorite is that one TNG episode where an isolationist species cloaked their entire planet. People on Earth with no computers, sensors beyond primitive telescopes, and basic math were able to deduce first the existence and a ballpark guess at the orbit of Neptune hundreds of years ago based on nothing but its gravity.

Unless we want to go down the "Cloaks somehow block gravity" rabbit hole.
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