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Old December 29 2012, 09:19 PM   #20
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

Timo wrote: View Post
when have we ever SEEN that high-yield Tsar Bomba setting?
At least the "Skin of Evil" blast is quite geographic in scale, even if we assume the smallest possible perfectly spherical planet and ignore surface gravity as a size-suggesting factor. It's also a classic example of a "demolition shot", a torpedo fired with the full knowledge that the target will not try to dodge.
The fireball effect propagates too quickly and is too brief for it to have been that; at the scales we're talking, the blast wave would have traveled at something like forty times the speed of sound, spread to an area sixty kilometers wide, then dissipated immediately without leaving any visible long-term effects. So the "flash" is more likely an effect of the torpedo hitting the upper atmosphere and ionizing gas layers as it penetrated.

OTOH, it was targeted against a shuttlecraft, not a city. How many megatons does it really take to demolish a thirty foot shuttlecraft?

Similarly, a single torpedo finishes off the Lantree, which is in no way in contradiction of the idea that it takes lots of torps to defeat a starship in battle.
It IS, actually, considering the same torpedo that finished off the USS Grissom -- presumably even through its shields -- did little more than disable the unshielded Enterprise. Seems evident that if you hit the wrong part of a starship engine -- or even just damage it indirectly -- the ship will probably explode.

FYI, this is similarly the case for many types of fighter aircraft. You can shoot an F-15 full of holes and turn the fuselage into swiss cheese and it could still make it back to the runaway and land. But put a single bullet through the engine cowling -- shake loose a turbine or a compressor blade -- and it might as well be a giant cruise missile.

Except that for the kinds of detonations we USUALLY see, we'd be looking at a torpedo primed with not more than a couple of miligrams of antimatter
We "usually" see either hits against shields (which tell nothing about torpedo destructive power as such) or hits against geography (which look incredibly impressive, say, in "The Die is Cast").
But when we see hits with the shields DOWN, what do we see?

This. And this. And there's also the case here the Equinox matches Voyager's shield frequencies and hits it with two different photon torpedoes, somehow failing to destroy it with either shot. None of those even APPROACH the kind of damage done to NX-01 when struck by a quarter-kiloton nuclear device. In terms of a warhead using antimatter, that's literally the difference of two or three grams of reactant material; if you're firing for effect, there is NO reason for the yields to be that small.

That, of course, begs the inevitable question of just how it is that a physical projectile powered by an impulse engine is supposed to be able to match a shield frequency. How does that even work?

A generic decision to reallocate power might be expected standard procedure. But Sulu seems to be thinking in different terms.
Sulu isn't the one who says "too late" though. That's Spock, who is sharp enough to understand what the approaching torpedo signifies.
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