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Old July 17 2013, 11:06 PM   #36
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post
A pesky guy named Einstein has a problem with assuming that replicators work on pure energy. E=mc^2 still applies in Star Trek, as far as we know - that's the whole basis of matter-antimatter reactors, after all. Basically, all mass has an energy locked up within the matter. When matter annihilates, it has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is a buttload of energy. Conversely, it takes a buttload of energy to make a little bit of mass.
Despite mass-energy equivalence, or maybe because of it, transporters don't blow up the starship every time an individual is beamed to a planet or back from it. Apparently transporters don't work on currently known physics. Neither would the replicator, then, since they're related technologies.

Logically, replicators would need to run on a lot less power than pure energy conversion would get you. But how? Well, one theory (and the one I subscribe to) is that replicators merely put together your whatever. As in, there is a store of basic material (molecular or elemental) somewhere, and the replicator draws from that to put together what you asked it for.
Seems like a perfectly workable theory to me. "Replicators" exist in other science fiction stories, and they often use a feedstock of raw material and some nanomachinery to assemble finished products. Sometimes these mini-factories carry exotic elements around, too, for use in more complex items. Trek replicators might simply be the use of piles of raw elemental feedstock, or simple compounds, reorganized by the transporters. It would explain why mining is still a necessary economic activity - the raw material has to come from somewhere. Then the question is, why would dilithium or latinum be exempted from atomic assembly in this manner?

Star Wolf wrote: View Post
the problem then becomes the show was set during a total war and in humanity's known history counterfeiting was used to disrupte the enemy. and the Founders were a smart enemy. They certainly were not concerned about the civil laws of the quadrant.
But the Ferengi were ostensibly neutral in the conflict, and gold-pressed latinum is their currency, not the Federation's. The Dominion are bad guys, but they'll honor treaties and agreements for as long as it suits them. In this case, why would antagonizing the Ferengi be useful, except to drive them into the Federation Alliance?
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