Cary L. Brown wrote:
I've always assumed that we weren't necessarily seeing every piece of functional equipment. I think of the "rows of tubes" as being the ENERGIZER... the part that converts the raw radiation from the m/am reaction into usable energy (electricity, really) for powering shipboard systems. In front of the energizer is the main engineering complex... and BEHIND it (ie, at the far end of the rows of tubes) is where the main reactor hardware is located.
It's alternatively another position I consider that the tubes make up a bit "parallel" reactor assembly, with multiple smaller reactors in three parallel sets of ... what, 12?... SERIALLY arranged reactors.
But while I sometimes consider that, I usually end up going back to the idea that theres a reactor "hidden" at the far end of the "tubes" room.
Actually, all of those are reasonable assumptions... specially how they lit the tube assembly during action sequences in the show.
In the end though, I'm going to try to make my plans as inclusive as possible by not attempting to fill in those blanks. It is one of those things where we have energy being produced, it makes its way to warp engines, deflectors, phasers, etc., a miracle happens
, and the plot moves forward.