The Librarian wrote:
I feel sorry for the people at the NIF who keep having their state-of-the-art fusion research chamber called primitive.
I think the idea is that what's state-of-the-art in 2013 would be primitive by the standards of 2259. TOS tricorders were inspired by the state-of-the-art portable cassette tape recorders of the mid-1960s, but they look pretty primitive in this age of MP3 players and smartphones. The danger of basing designs on what's at the bleeding edge of modernity in the present day is that it'll seem dated in a decade or two -- while something that's more removed from reality may have a more timeless quality.
Admiral Buzzkill wrote:
There's really no reason for lots of blue light spilling out of these engines/reactors which is why all previous designs now look silly.
True -- that much light bleeding out would be a needless inefficiency. What you'd want is something that fully contains the reaction and keeps its energies comfortably away from any inhabited area.