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Old December 29 2012, 11:05 PM   #24
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

Timo wrote: View Post
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.
Nothing wrong with forty times the speed of sound as such; speed would just be a function of explosive yield
Shockwaves do not work that way. The speed of sound in a medium is determinate; adding more energy to the wave won't increase its speed, just its amplitude and propagation distance.

OTOH, it was targeted against a shuttlecraft, not a city. How many megatons does it really take to demolish a thirty foot shuttlecraft?
Considering that the danger of collateral damage was less than zero (that is, if any bystanders were killed, everybody would be very, very grateful, including said casualty!), overkill sounds preferable here.
You're very glib about this, but it's incomprehensible that Picard -- especially Season 1 Picard -- would have intentionally nuked Armus with a maximum yield photon torpedo, no matter how pissed he was about Tasha.

Kruge's torpedo doesn't seem to be all that similar to photon torpedoes
True, but it DID destroy the Grissom with just one shot. Indication that the ability to destroy an entire starship doesn't necessarily (or even usually) indicate explosive yield.

But unshielded ships being just one very light misstep away from blowing up is certainly a valid concept, reinforced by the likes of "Cause and Effect". Doesn't undermine the idea that shielded ships can shrug off multiple torps in basically all situations.
It also doesn't change the fact that UNSHIELDED ones often do this as well.

a) Real Starfleet would fire low yield torps if intending to do light damage in support of boarding action...
That again assumes a one-shot-kill is even possible. I don't think it is.

Neither before nor after Burke's mutiny did the Equinox pursue a campaign of actually wanting to destroy the Voyager. Burke himself just wanted to escape Janeway into a nebula moments before firing those torpedoes through her shields. So, disabling shots are a distinct possibility once again.
Which is another EXCUSE for why torpedoes are never ever fired at their maximum yield. Why should we continue to assume they even HAVE a higher setting, when even TOS suggests that antimatter explosives would produce HUGELY larger reactions than photon torpedoes are capable of?

Have we ever seen something "passive" (like a villain?) thrown through an atmosphere containment forcefield? Or can we continue to postulate that this trick requires at least a special transponder aboard the departing object, and probably some sort of intricate shield-shield interaction, in addition to brute physical force?
Either way, we know that shuttlecraft can't pass through deflector shields, though properly tuned photon torpedoes can. Incidentally, we also know that phaser beams can pass through shields (on the way out, at least) so it leads me to consider even more than photon torpedoes are largely a-physical and can be "modulated" to pass through energy fields without interacting with them.
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