Re: TOS' U.S.S. Valiant and Farragut....
TOS Purist wrote:
I don't think so. Even in the 60's they knew it was impossible to go faster than light under Newtonian thrust. Even the name "warp drive" implies its a field drive, not a rocket.
Well, there are theories to either effect to whether or not it's impossible to go faster than light under Newtonian thrust...although the time dilation effect due to speed under Einstein's relativity has proved itself true in some cases, it's still open to debate (a debate I hope to avoid in this thread...).
Warp drive doesn't really imply a field...Matt Jefferies famously said "What the hell is warp drive?" when Roddenberry told him how the Enterprise went faster than light, and I'm sure he had "warp drive" in mind when he developed the nacelles. Even so, they're obviously not field emitters and have a distinct front and back.
Maybe if you want to stick with the "field" idea, you could say that the field is created behind the ship by the ends of the nacelles, like the engines in Star Trek 2009 seem to do.
Just because the nacelles vaguely resemble rockets doesn't mean they have to function like them. They are linear in design and have a front and back because they warp the fabric of space from front to back - compressing it ahead of the ship and expanding it behind. They were never seen emitting any kind of thrust propellant whatsoever. Hell, even one of the screens on the bridge was a gauge for measuring the "warp field".
I'm glad you want to avoid a scientific debate on the possibility of FTL speeds and lack of time dilation under rocket propulsion. Respectfully... you'd lose.
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