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Old August 20 2012, 02:40 AM   #14
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Re: Transphasic shields in the novels

Shatinator wrote: View Post
Christopher, following your logic how does this physical shielding from "Endgame" differ that much from the Defiant's 'Ablative Armor' from DS9. My understanding is that it is a physical construct as well and not an energy based system.
What shane said -- that's not a substitute for deflector shields but a supplement for them.

Also, the Defiant's ablative armor doesn't block the maneuvering thrusters, heat radiators, sensor ports, etc, but is integrated into the hull of the ship. It's like the difference between buying an armored limousine and completely encasing a normal limousine in thick steel plating. Not to mention that it's a permanent part of the ship rather than something that gets beamed into existence by the replicator system or something, which would take a lot of extra power.

To the OP, I was under the impression that Transphasic shields were linked to the TNG episode "Decent", where Crusher was able to delay the Borg by moving closer to a star than the Borg were able to. This was continuity from the episode "Suspicions".
Those were metaphasic shields. True, "trans-" and "meta-" have overlapping meanings, but once Andre Bormanis became the technical consultant, the actual meanings of the root words that technobabble was built from kinda stopped having any relevance whatsoever. (Like "isolytic charge." "Isolytic" means "dissolving equally." How that can describe something that's basically electricity only more future-y is beyond me.)

If so I find it much preferable to "polarizing" the hull that Enterprise tried pulling, another B & B move.
Oh, no, that actually bears some similarity to a real-world principle. I can't remember the details, but I've heard about something that's really used in tanks today, or at least is in prototype, that uses some kind of magnetic or electric field to strengthen the atomic bonds in armor and make it more durable. I've also read recently about a different technology that uses a magnetic field to soften the impact of an exploding shell so it does less damage. So "polarizing the hull plating" is something I can actually buy into as credible. (And it has a Trek precedent too, since it's a similar principle to the structural integrity fields used in the 24th century.)
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