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Old June 10 2013, 08:46 PM   #50
Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

zDarby wrote: View Post
Ok. Here's how I read this comment: Our knowledge of physics & engineering now compared to three hundred years from now is like comparing such knowledge in Franklin's time to our own. Which is to say: Silly and naive, at best, and more likely to be ignorantly arrogant. (If I understood wrongly, I apologize and would appreciate the correction.)
This is one possible way to interpret what we see in Star Trek in general. The other is that the very universe of the show is fundamentally different from ours, not merely in terms of pseudohistory but also in terms of laws of nature, and that warp drive can coexist with Newtonian physics and absolute frames of reference for that reason. "Future science" has not really broken any known laws of science - it has evolved in an environment where those laws never had any validity.

Amusingly, TNG "Nth Degree" suggests that Einstein in the Star Trek universe was an expert of quantum mechanics rather than relativity... Perhaps there was no relativity to discover in that universe?

For me, to wave a hand and say, "it's technological magic," is to not play the game.
I'm game for that - but if the move in the game ignores the implications of established Star Trek phenomena and achievements, it shouldn't be considered a legal one.

This is not to say that one couldn't build a machine obeying the laws of nature pertaining to our universe even when the Trek universe clearly allows one to take a shortcut. Say, one could still build a conventional space elevator to haul cargo to orbit even though transporter technology exists; even though it apparently costs very little in terms of energy to reduce the gravitational mass of the cargo before lifting it; and even though pulling with a tractor beam rather than with a tether allows one to ignore certain anchorpoint issues (that is, Newton's third law doesn't seem to hold for tractor beams).

It just sounds silly to do that...

Which laws of nature do you see being broken with FTL near an event horizon?
It is hard to see how anything about Einstein's work (and, evidently following from this, Maxwell's) could hold true if mass can exceed lightspeed.

But if Maxwell was wrong, this basically means that a lot of symmetry disappears from the universe, and one can get something from nothing by a dozen dirty tricks.

What benefits do you see a user gaining from these broken laws?
How could you set this up for perpetual motion?
Could any of these things be implemented within a D'deridex?
Say, by purely classical terms, allowing mass to enter a black hole beyond the event horizon gives it exceptional kinetic energy - but extracting it from there again with a warp engine and/or with a mass-reducing field should take less energy than extracting it from there by conventional means (finite << infinite)... You don't need a black hole for this, cheating with any freefall will do, but the black hole case establishes with lamentable finality that warp engines do achieve infinite things with finite resources, and should be able to exploit the difference.

Perhaps the AQS is merely a source of extreme gravitic pull, and a subspace field creates an asymmetry in this pull, so that objects fall in from one side and gain energy that they do not lose when climbing up from the side that has the mass-negating field in place. When they finally emerge from the subspace field at "wrong" velocity and regain their mass, they have gained considerable "illegal" kinetic energy.

Of course, this sort of obvious cheating should lead to a wealth of applications that we nevertheless fail to witness in Star Trek. So perhaps there are checks and balances there from heretofore unknown / Trek-specific laws of nature that make it unprofitable to exploit such things to the fullest. But the very existence of starships that can escape from within a black hole is embarrassing evidence that one can get macroscopic benefit from breaking the symmetry of a gravitational potential well.

Timo Saloniemi
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