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Old December 30 2012, 06:40 AM   #27
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

Timo wrote: View Post
Shockwaves do not work that way.
At some point, it would cease to be a shockwave issue and would simply become an issue of an irresistible force moving matter against basically no resistance at all. I doubt it's the medium we see in motion: it's ejecta
The fireball is MUCH too small for that; an ejecta plume moving at that speed wouldn't slow down or dissipate in anything less a handful of minutes and would expand to several tens of times the size we see in the episode before it ceased to be visible. The plume itself would deposit a fair amount of material in orbit and scatter the rest over tens or hundreds of kilometers; the molten crater it would leave would be at least as visible as the explosion itself.

It's just a matter of scale. Explosions that occur with that much energy and on that large a scale DO NOT occur that quickly. It's just a lot more likely that we're seeing something that LOOKS kind of big even though it really isn't.

How so? That would have been a good deed if there ever was one
And massively out of character for Picard, or for Starfleet itself for that matter. These are supposed to be the "highly evolved sensibility" humans that Gene Rodenberry had a hardon for in his latter years; these are NOT people who are going to be heard saying "We should just nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

There is no unshielded ship that would have survived a Starfleet photon torpedo hit.
You are fully aware that there are more EXCEPTIONS to the rule than actual proofs, and is therefore not an applicable rule.

we know that shuttlecraft can't pass through deflector shields
Sure they can, with a bit of trickery ("Preemptive Strike").[/quote]
A "bit of trickery" in this case is "Get the tactical officer to weaken the shields so you can get through." Doesn't count against the trend.

Since forcefields tend to exhibit a glow, and torps glow in flight, perhaps what we're seeing is a "counterfield" in action?
Doesn't fit; the glow is still present even when shooting at things that DON'T have shields (where there would be no need for a "counterfield." That glow is a distinctive feature of the torpedo itself and I think we should treat it as suggestive of something about how the weapon fundamentally works, not just an interesting feature tacked on because it would explain things.

The same projectile shape behaves the same way when used as a high-warp courier capsule or a no-propulsion burial box: you spit it out, and it does its stuff without evaporating or turning into a forcefield-based pair of petunias or anything.
And yet in its non-weaponized use, torpedoes do not glow like fireballs.

Tellingly, neither do science probes, which really shouldn't be the case since technically the only difference between a probe and a torpedo is (supposedly) their payload. One has a sensor, the other has a warhead. The fact that they look completely different -- more importantly, the fact that Starfleet no longer uses weapons that resemble probes -- suggests that there's some fundamental difference between photon torpedoes and any other projectile weapon in existence. They CAN'T be simply jazzed-up guided missiles, nor can we attribute the difference to the warheds alone (again, a 22nd century spatial torpedo could be photonic, in that case, just by swapping out the warhead).

I'm leaning towards Publiusr's "ball lighting" idea, among others. Even if the casing is part of the weapon itself (it may not always be) that would mean a concentration of fantastic amounts of energy, encapsulated in a self-cohesive mass and then hurled at the enemy where it will theoretically be released on contact.
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