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Old October 24 2012, 06:26 PM   #123
Psion
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

larryman wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
larryman wrote: View Post


Sorry - my bad. I was thinking of two size-scale ships at the same time. I'll try again.

If the Enterprise saucer-section was no larger than the 'football' ship... then no pivot is needed. But if the saucer is scaled larger then the 'football' ship... then pivot is needed to prevent the saucer's leading and trailing portions from extending into, and being destroyed, in the 'close' warp zones ahead and behind the warp-ring.

The 'saucer shape' is what the Enterprise uses as it's primary hull shape. And it might be desired/required to disconnect from the warp-ring, and land the ship (proper) on a planet. Perhaps as a colony base station.
OK, I'll try again as well. Why does it need to pivot? Just build it in the orientation that it needs to begin with. Why a saucer shape? Why not just build it in a more efficient shape to begin with?
I guess there is no 'good' reason to not build the ship in it's most efficient shape - a football ellipsoid.
'Most efficient shape' according to our nascent understanding of warp fields. There's a bit of wiggle room left between now and when all future papers have been written and we're actually ready to build the thing. Also, form typically follows function, and while the form of a football might easily fulfill the function of moving at the speed of light, what the vehicle does once it gets to its destination will also have an influence on its form. Does it launch smaller craft? Does it maneuver at slower-than-light speeds? Does it set up a defensive perimeter? The efficiency of travelling faster-than-light might be a secondary concern and thus a secondary influence on the vehicle's form.

And there is another good reason to come up with other shapes ... to make them aesthetically pleasing. If you're making a new TV show or building a CG model or painting a picture, the last thing you want as the center piece of your creative endeavor is that bland, boring monstrosity pictured on the original article.
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