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Old August 28 2013, 06:10 PM   #254
Robert Comsol
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Location: shore leave in La Baule, France
Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

zDarby wrote: View Post
And with up to several kilograms of M/AM annihilating per second, that effectively translates into an aggregate of considerable random motion: lots of heat. So heat energy is not just inevitable it also the majority...

But converting energy into power using heat engines is quite inefficient, as I'm sure you know. It is far better to convert it electro-magnetically..
Since factually we are still living in the age of the steam engine, I absolutely hope and expect there'll be more efficient ways in the future to use energy.

So what we do see in the intermix chamber / warp core is a credible presentation of the products of the M/AM annihilation being somehow channeled to their destinations?

zDarby wrote: View Post
If it doesn't than one would want to separate the electric charges mixed in the plasma into positive and negative before trying to convert the plasma's energy into power. Indeed, I often thought the warp coils would use alternating positive and negative electric charges to create a warp field. I have no supporting evidence to this thought.
IIRC that's one of the things Andrew Probert envisioned, there's a field between both warp nacelles (and therefore these should come in pairs). So essentially we'd need to split the plasma flow coming from the M/AM reaction into positively and negatively charged plasma?

zDarby wrote: View Post
If there were a way of pumping energy --probably electrically or magnetically, or both-- into the crystal so that the fields in the pours then applied some of that energy to the plasma, then you also have a plasma energizer... The effect might be a combination of the Hall effect and piezoelectric, making a magneto-hydro-dynamic accelerator out of each pour? Again, you'd have to somehow put energy in to get the energizing effect, and you'd lose some when all is said and done, but you be able to intermix M/AM and fusion plasma without dropping the total energy curve of the plasma.
In "The Naked Time" Lt. Riley had switched off all engines which needed to be restarted and "reheated" (you can't mix matter and antimatter "cold"). So does "reheat" possibly mean that you had to have a fully charged plasma energizer.
I'm really beginning to love the sound of it...

zDarby wrote: View Post
However, the cavity behind Scotty and Kirk in the above linked photo does not immediately suggest any proposed fusion reactor I am aware of, either from inside or out. I've often puzzled over what that space might be. I have no answers.
I was not referring to the cavity (known as the "cathedral" which I believe to be one of these enigmatic energizers) but to the free-standing object inside the engine room Scotty was apparently working on. Would this better qualify as a fusion reactor or as a nuclear battery of the 23rd Century?

zDarby wrote: View Post
Still, using 23rd century tech, its simplicity might be useful aboard a shuttle craft, or other small vessel. (Honestly, I never considered it before now.) Especially as an auxiliary power source when the mains are offline. Plus, it would use the same fuel as the M/AM reactor: deuterium. But it would be the (DD) reaction I complained of being rather low energy in previous posts.
But a working (!) nuclear fusion reactor in the 23rd Century would still yield more energy output than any nuclear fission reactor?

zDarby wrote: View Post
Fission is an ugly reaction, no doubt: neutrons, neutrons everywhere! But compared to fusion, it's easy, reliable energy. I can accept fission as "battery power" because when splitting a fissionable atom you're releasing energy stored from supernovae. You're not converting mass that would not be eventually converted on its own anyway. I don't like it as "battery power" because it's not really rechargeable and it gives off more energy than I really expect from "batteries". For these two reasons I prefer nuclear isomers for batteries... especially for shuttlecraft. And if this kind of battery could be made small enough, for phasers, too...None the less, a turn-key fission reaction could be considered a "battery" in its own right.
Considering the Enterprise sometimes relied on "battery power" these batteries should give off a lot of energy for life support and artificial gravity! Funny, for a long time I thought "battery" could be a colloquialism and refer to a fission reactor.

zDarby wrote: View Post
Gammas are created in plasma bottles all the time: When a fast traveling nucleus brushes past another charge and is deflected, the nucleus gives up some of its momentum in the form of a gamma ray. This is bremsstrahlung radiation and it's the bane of all fusion reactors because this is the mechanism of plasma thermalization.
This accounts for the light we see in the intermix chamber / warp core? If yes, my earlier question has been answered.

zDarby wrote: View Post
But here's my biggest objection against gamma rays: a free nucleus laser --similar to a free electron or free proton laser in principal-- could make all the gammas you could ever want.
In other words a laser could provide gamma radiation if that were required? I'm confident the TOS producers understood what a laser does and since it was never mentioned for propulsion purposes we'd better forget such a concept and focus instead on the plasma energy provided by fusion and annihilation.

zDarby wrote: View Post
However, though gamma rays as a method for transferring energy from the main reactor to the nacelles seems like a lost cause to me, maybe they're used as a method of keeping the nacelles responsive to a warp plasma that *does* transfer the power.
Gamma radiation as a form of lubricant? Maybe there's still hope for Spock's re-crystalization of dilithium crystals by means of gamma radiation.

zDarby wrote: View Post
Since the DS9 tachyon sailor episode, making tachyon's FTL doped and heavy interaction with matter canon in then Trek universe, I've suspected that the warp coils released tachyons when struck by a wave of of plasma. As stated above, I believed it had something to do with hitting the material with strong positive and negative electric charges, very rapidly. By striking each coil segment in the right order, you'd get what amounted to a oscillating field of tachyons. Oscillate the correctly and you get a warp field. (What "correctly" means in this context, I don't know.)

Making tachyons is hard. If it weren't, we'd have detected them already. Maybe you can do it by shaking a gamma-ray-induced nuclear-isomer really hard with an electric shock from highly energized plasma!

How's that for wild speculation?! Are you not entertained?!
I am, absolutely. But since gamma radiation is somewhat "out" I just started to speculate that the warp coils could have some oscillating effect to manipulate "dark energy" (whatever that is according to our current knowledge or lack of knowledge)

zDarby wrote: View Post
But that brings me to another set of wild speculations. The alcubierre drive can work at slower than light speeds as well as faster. The warp drive cannot... at least, not easily. Indeed, AFAIK, alwarp drive does not need exotic, negative mass-energy if it is traveling STL. IE, it's easier to implement as STL. What if alwarp is "impulse" and "warp" is another form of FTL that is less power hungry? That would make Scotty's impulse statement mean the Romulans were using an inferior form of FTL, one that was power hungry, not one that was necessarily limited in speed. "We can outrun them because we can get more speed for less power: they're running on Impulse."
So essentially alwarp would be the "poor man's" choice or a backup system aboard a starship that also has classic warp. I like the sound of it and the implications for our rationalization attempts.

Many, many thanks!

Bob
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