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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old May 12 2009, 07:43 AM   #31
Gagarin
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

What are you intending your Intermix Chamber's function to be?
Is it, to you, an earlier version of the TNG 'Warp Core'?
Or is it a very long raw power conduit with the reactants at the base?
Or is it a very long reactor, with matter/anti-matter slowly being introduced together through the whole unit, perhaps with dilithium being used in every segment?

I just think how you think it works to be the main thing to wrestle with before you design it - and if you've worked it out or have an opinion, I'd love to hear it! =)

Something old I had (and I'm not claiming this works well):


-TOS had a pretty large reactor, used little Dilithium, but depleted it at very high rates when under high loads. Dilithium is used (1)to mediate the reaction and (2) convert the energy into usable radiation.

OR

-TOS had reactors in the nacelles which used dilithium as a mediator. Power was fed down and put into usable energy by other dilithium crystals.

-Intermix Shaft/Energizers - used LOTS of Dilithium but depleted it very slowly under all load levels. There's an initial reaction at the bottom of the shaft and more and more reactants are fed up, with dilithium in each transfer segment as well as being released as particles in the shaft to mediate and create the right kind of electrical charge. Some of the segments siphon off into power converting energizers. The whole thing was very complicated and very hard to manufacture - very costly in dilithium. The bigger/longer the Intermix shaft/Energizers, the more power the ship has.

--TNG (or...late movie) - reactor we're used to. Uses little crystal and it decays evenly, which is fine, because it can be recrystalized anyway (in TNG). Reaction is mediated by dilithium which causes plasma to energize. Step-down power is created somewhere other than main engineering.

Last edited by Gagarin; May 12 2009 at 08:06 AM.
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Old May 12 2009, 01:40 PM   #32
CTM
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

Gagarin wrote: View Post
What are you intending your Intermix Chamber's function to be?
Is it, to you, an earlier version of the TNG 'Warp Core'?
Or is it a very long raw power conduit with the reactants at the base?
Or is it a very long reactor, with matter/anti-matter slowly being introduced together through the whole unit, perhaps with dilithium being used in every segment?

I just think how you think it works to be the main thing to wrestle with before you design it - and if you've worked it out or have an opinion, I'd love to hear it! =)

Something old I had (and I'm not claiming this works well):


-TOS had a pretty large reactor, used little Dilithium, but depleted it at very high rates when under high loads. Dilithium is used (1)to mediate the reaction and (2) convert the energy into usable radiation.

OR

-TOS had reactors in the nacelles which used dilithium as a mediator. Power was fed down and put into usable energy by other dilithium crystals.

-Intermix Shaft/Energizers - used LOTS of Dilithium but depleted it very slowly under all load levels. There's an initial reaction at the bottom of the shaft and more and more reactants are fed up, with dilithium in each transfer segment as well as being released as particles in the shaft to mediate and create the right kind of electrical charge. Some of the segments siphon off into power converting energizers. The whole thing was very complicated and very hard to manufacture - very costly in dilithium. The bigger/longer the Intermix shaft/Energizers, the more power the ship has.

--TNG (or...late movie) - reactor we're used to. Uses little crystal and it decays evenly, which is fine, because it can be recrystalized anyway (in TNG). Reaction is mediated by dilithium which causes plasma to energize. Step-down power is created somewhere other than main engineering.
My assumption is that while there may be some dramatic revolutions in Warp Drive Technology, the fundamental design concept doesn't change (Much like the Internal Combustion Engine may be dramatically more capable and efficient today vs 70 years ago, the fundamental design concept hasn't). In TOS they never made it absolutely clear how it worked. In TNG they made it explicitly clear. Additionally, while there may not be a requirement for a link between the Warp Core and the Impulse Drive, it was clearly designed so early on in the movies. Based upon what we've seen in more advanced Trek Tech, I am assuming a development between TOS and TMP that moves Engineering from the joint at the base of the pylons (See Cary L. Brown's thread in the Art Forum http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=89810 ) forward to directly in line with the Impulse Drive in the saucer, and makes an explicit link to it. Antimatter is stored at the base of the secondary hull, where it can easily be ejected, and sourced from the bottom of the intermix chamber. Hydrogen is stored elsewhere, and sourced from the top of the intermix chamber. By TNG, Impulse Engines were powerful enough in their own right the challenge (and risk) of running a direct-connect between the intermix chamber and the Impulse Engines that it wasn't often done.
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Old May 12 2009, 06:39 PM   #33
Praetor
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

Gagarin wrote: View Post
-TOS had reactors in the nacelles which used dilithium as a mediator. Power was fed down and put into usable energy by other dilithium crystals.

-Intermix Shaft/Energizers - used LOTS of Dilithium but depleted it very slowly under all load levels. There's an initial reaction at the bottom of the shaft and more and more reactants are fed up, with dilithium in each transfer segment as well as being released as particles in the shaft to mediate and create the right kind of electrical charge. Some of the segments siphon off into power converting energizers. The whole thing was very complicated and very hard to manufacture - very costly in dilithium. The bigger/longer the Intermix shaft/Energizers, the more power the ship has.

--TNG (or...late movie) - reactor we're used to. Uses little crystal and it decays evenly, which is fine, because it can be recrystalized anyway (in TNG). Reaction is mediated by dilithium which causes plasma to energize. Step-down power is created somewhere other than main engineering.
I think this works pretty well.

Generally, I feel that the trend from ENT to TOS to movies to TNG works nicely if you assume that ENT an initially overly complex de-centralized multi-component setup, boiling down through TOS and TMP to be more interconnected, and finally arriving at a simplified, centralized 'constrictor core' TNG-type arrangement. Indeed, it would seem that those constrictor segments would serve to eliminate the need for multiple dilithium emplacements - focusing the matter and antimatter streams for a more powerful single reaction.

I believe Rick Sternbach once suggested that VGR's 'swirl core' had dilithium lining it and that it was supposed to be analagous to the TMP core design - so in that regard the VGR core might be a 'throwback' design intended for higher output for the small ship. If one takes lighting effects into account, the Defiant might have an experimental hybrid swirl/TNG core - with the constriction segments of TNG and the 'swirl core' effect in the M/ARC.

(Of course, for all we know other ships retained the 'swirl' type core as seen on VGR, too. Heck, the Enterprise-D might have been an exception rather than a rule. Alternately, the)

CTM wrote: View Post
By TNG, Impulse Engines were powerful enough in their own right the challenge (and risk) of running a direct-connect between the intermix chamber and the Impulse Engines that it wasn't often done.
I agree, and I think the supposed introduction of the modern impulse driver coil (which allows low-level warp-type spatial distortion that makes the ship easier to move at impulse) on the Ambassador class, which also happens to not have a deflection crystal at the back of its saucer, nicely fits this scenario.
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Old July 10 2009, 11:12 AM   #34
DiamondJoe
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

Question - I've never really understood how the saucer can be able to travel at warp without the nacelles, as surely the nacelles generate the subspace/warp field necessary? I have always understood warp drive to function on the principle that the nacelles warp space with a high-energy subspace field, allowing the ship to travel at FTL speeds.

Saquist - you there? Following on from our discussion over on the other thread:

"The intermix chamber is where the crystals are".

Not necessarily. There is no clear indication on the TMP engine core that crystals are contained within, unlike the TNG Enterprise where there is a central crystal housing. It is entirely possible that the crystals are housed in a seperate structure, ie the reactor room where Spock dies, or that the engine core itself utilises a different method of dilithium regulation, eg dilithium is uniformly embedded in the entire engine core (as discussed by Praetor in the post above). As I have stated, the identical reactor chamber seen in Voyage Home containing crystals would seem to confirm the first hypothesis.

"You're saying it's logical to compare Klingon technology and design and Star Fleet technology and design as being synonomous?"

It is a reasonable assumption, given the evidence, that both Klingon and Starfleet warp technology functions using similar principles. Why? Because we know from Voyage Home that Klingon birds of prey use dilithium crystals, which is a matter/antimatter regulator - hence, a M/ARA system. We hear Scotty in Search for Spock asking "where's the damn anti-matter inducer?" Clearly, a function he expects to find and knows how to use, because their warp drive must operate using the same principles. Unlike, for example, Romulan warp drive, which we know uses an artificial singularity as its power source (although exactly how that works has never been explained).

"Looks like a plasma valve to me".

Does it? What does your average "plasma valve" look like, then? Can't say I've seen many of them. What evidence are you basing that on?

Your description of impulse drive operation - I'm not disagreeing, but where did you get that detailed run-down from? The only description I've ever seen is in the TNG technical manual and I don't recall anything about distortion waves, to say nothing of deflection crystals.
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Old July 10 2009, 11:45 AM   #35
Timo
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

I've never really understood how the saucer can be able to travel at warp without the nacelles, as surely the nacelles generate the subspace/warp field necessary?
Most Trek starships don't have "nacelles" - only Starfleet vessels tend to have those. Yet most if not all Trek starships appear to have "warp coils", the things that sometimes are positioned inside nacelles, sometimes inside casings, sometimes inside side or top bulges, sometimes at the very heart of the ship...

The usual hint of the presence of a set of warp coils is a visual glow through some sort of a "field window". Many Starfleet ships have blue glow at the nacelles or cowlings. And remarkably, the saucer of the E-D has intense blue glow on two sets of squarish windows at the aft topside. This would be an excellent place for the saucer's warp engines, close to the impulse engines and their reactors, and close to the reputed saucer aft photon torpedo launcher which would have to have an antimatter source.

There is no clear indication on the TMP engine core that crystals are contained within, unlike the TNG Enterprise where there is a central crystal housing.
Yet there isn't really any evidence of active crystals being located anywhere else, either. If they are in the very heart of the reactor in TNG and ENT, and in TOS "Elaan of Troyius" and the like this seems to be true as well, why assume they would occupy a radically different location in the machinery of other eras?

OTOH, on today's ships one may confuse a reciprocating steam engine (an external combustion engine) and a diesel engine (an internal combustion engine) because both have cylinders and pistons, even though the fuel is in a completely and fundamentally different location in the two. Perhaps the TMP ship was based on a completely different powerplant than the TOS and TNG ones, not just in configuration, but in operating principle as well?

..the identical reactor chamber seen in Voyage Home containing crystals..
Or the identical access point to the conveyor/tubemail/waldo that takes the crystals from the shirtsleeves environment to the hellfires of the intermix chamber?

That'd be a somewhat logical path of development: in ENT, one couldn't manipulate the dilithium at all, in TOS and TMP one could manipulate it by feeding it into a robotic system, and in TNG one could directly access it at the very reaction site.

It is a reasonable assumption, given the evidence, that both Klingon and Starfleet warp technology functions using similar principles.
Indeed, many a TOS episode was based on the premise that Klingons covet the exact same resources as the UFP. So their technologies in general might be very similar, perhaps due to industrial espionage.

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Old July 10 2009, 01:51 PM   #36
Saquist
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

The Impulse Deflection Crystal:
Like Warp Drive the Impulse Engines are a type of field propulsion system. The Fusion reactor ignites the matter and the energy from that reaction is then colaspsed into spatial disturbance that radiates out from the reactor. Only certain materials react with the impulse wave. Impulse Drive coils can be used to repel or to be attracted to the distortion wave

Residual plasma is flushed to the rear in the Impulse manifold on the exterior of the ship.

The Deflection Crystal cancels out residual wave activity on the opposite side of the drive coils.

The Additional Conduit routed to the impulse drive coils and manifold as seen in the illistration allows the coils to be powered by warp plasma or for the core to flushed incase the core is scrammed mid-reaction


Memory Alpha insist that the Impulse Engine is an ION Chemical Propulsion Thrusted Exhaust system. We've never seen any sort of thrustered exhaust at all or even the need to follow physics and pivot to move in any particular direction. The Enterprise A, Voyager and the Enterprise D were more than capable of reversing engines and direction of travel without reversing the ships orientation on many occasions.

Its my theory that the Impulse wave created by the reactor has to be countered as the ship travels through the disturbance. The deflection Crystal produces and interference pattern on one side of the reactor while the driver coils are on the other side being pushed by the leading edge of the shock wave. As the ship travels through the center of the distortion field to the other side of the shock wave the deflection crystal's interference pattern prevents the wave traveling in the opposite direction from pushing against the driver coils and subsequently allowing for a smooth ride.
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Old July 10 2009, 01:57 PM   #37
trevanian
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

ncc-1017-e wrote: View Post
I agree! I mean JJ's Enterprise has a round exterior bridge but the set looks very oval to me. So does the toy of it by Playmates as well!
Where do you get the idea that the bridge is supposed to be round in the abrams movie? The production designer has stated at least a couple times he made the bridge oval to take advantage of the 2.35 widescreen format, that a round bridge would have looked flat in that format (you can evaluate the accuracy of that comment by viewing past TREK movies, which were all 2.35, though TUC was shot super35 not anamorphic.)

You can presumably reconcile the interior and exterior appearance/shape of bridge by figuring there is some depth or shell around the non-window part, right? Or does it have visible turbo-lifts and such on the outside?
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Old July 10 2009, 02:02 PM   #38
trevanian
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

[QUOTE=Timo;2936069]
Since we know that the Feds can make just about anything go to warp, including near-derelicts and mining rigs, it is only logical that the saucer could have warp, too.

Timo Saloniemi
That ignores what the production was actually allowing most of the time.

One of my pitches in '90 involved installing deployable warp nacelles in an intentionally separated saucer, or installing unseen means of getting the saucer to warp independently, in order to draw in a group that had been preying on other separated starships.

I was told very explicitly that it doesn't work that way, that the saucers can't ever go to warp, that there is no way to do this (not as a production-wise issue of expense or effort, as an in-universe story call), on to the next.

Of course I guess if Rick Berman pitched the idea it might have gone down differently ...
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Old July 10 2009, 06:20 PM   #39
DiamondJoe
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

"Yet there isn't really any evidence of active crystals being located anywhere else, either. If they are in the very heart of the reactor in TNG and ENT, and in TOS "Elaan of Troyius" and the like this seems to be true as well, why assume they would occupy a radically different location in the machinery of other eras?"

I'm not saying they're not. I'm saying they could be, given the evidence I've already cited (eg the reactor rooms in Treks II & IV). As you've correctly noted, the TMP refit Enterprise was a radically new design using the latest advances. It is therefore entirely possible that the warp system may have deviated significantly from existing designs.

I must admit - I haven't seen any of Enterprise at all, so can't comment on what was seen on that show or how it relates to subsequent designs

Re the saucer warp engines - I thought the whole point of warp nacelles being located away from the hull of the ship was so that there was a reasonable distance between the crew and the warp field? If there are warp engines located within the body of the saucer itself then that would invalidate that design element. And it also must be noted that (as far as I know) there has never been, in any Trek iteration, any mention of saucer warp engines. Trevanian's notion of introducing deployable nacelles is an extremely neat one and would have solved this conundrum at a stroke. Shame they didn't go with it - and if they told him the saucer couldn't go to warp, then they hadn't been paying enough attention to their own show.

Saquist - that's a fair theory (and an appealing one actually - I've often wondered how 'reverse impulse' works when there are no impulse engines on the bow of the saucer), but it must be noted that whatever Memory Alpha insists, it's the creation of fans, and not canon. The purpose of the crystal (if it is one) remains hazy.
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Old July 10 2009, 06:29 PM   #40
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

Saquist wrote: View Post
The Deflection Crystal cancels out residual wave activity on the opposite side of the drive coils.
As I pointed out in the other thread, PROBERT stated that the deflection crystal is a kind of power linkage between the intermix and the impulse engines. The intermix on the TMP Enterprise is NOT a warp core, it is a large power transfer conduit leading from the main reactor at the very bottom of the engineering module. In this sense it could work just as well as a field drive and as a plasma-type thruster, since in the latter case it would simply fire the product of a matter/antimatter reaction out into space.
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Old July 10 2009, 09:48 PM   #41
Captain Robert April
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

The saucer of the Galaxy class has sustainer coils, which are able to maintain a previously generated warp field for a limited time, but they can't generate a warp field independently. This is how the E-D's saucer was able to make it all the way to Farpoint without the stardrive section (and with a speed of well over warp 9.5, it was able to "coast" a long ways before that warp field dissapated).

As far as the refit goes, either Rick Sternbach or Andrew Probert (probably Rick) said that the idea was that the entire intermix chamber was encrusted with dilithium, so the amping up of the matter/antimatter reaction was done throughout the system, and not just at one central point. Apparently, this system didn't catch on, since the E-A has a more conventional intermix chamber setup, setting up the design paradigm for the next century of starship engineering design.
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Old July 11 2009, 12:11 AM   #42
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

^ Probably Rick. I can't find it anymore, but it was a post in Trek Tech a few months ago where Andy Probert explained what was up with the intermix chamber.
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Old July 11 2009, 01:41 AM   #43
Saquist
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
As I pointed out in the other thread, PROBERT stated that the deflection crystal is a kind of power linkage between the intermix and the impulse engines. The intermix on the TMP Enterprise is NOT a warp core, it is a large power transfer conduit leading from the main reactor at the very bottom of the engineering module. In this sense it could work just as well as a field drive and as a plasma-type thruster, since in the latter case it would simply fire the product of a matter/antimatter reaction out into space.
A power Linkage?
Then why is it called a deflection crystal?
Why isn't between the intermix and impulse engines?

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
The saucer of the Galaxy class has sustainer coils, which are able to maintain a previously generated warp field for a limited time, but they can't generate a warp field independently. This is how the E-D's saucer was able to make it all the way to Farpoint without the stardrive section (and with a speed of well over warp 9.5, it was able to "coast" a long ways before that warp field dissapated)
That was Fascinating.
In the New Frontieer the Galaxys have Saucers with limited warp drive powered by the impulse engines.

As far as the refit goes, either Rick Sternbach or Andrew Probert (probably Rick) said that the idea was that the entire intermix chamber was encrusted with dilithium, so the amping up of the matter/antimatter reaction was done throughout the system, and not just at one central point. Apparently, this system didn't catch on, since the E-A has a more conventional intermix chamber setup, setting up the design paradigm for the next century of starship engineering design.
No...Dilithium isn't needed for the reactor...just one thing is necessary....
a shield. Not for containment but for decaying the neutinos so that the energy produce by the reaction could have an effect on the matter and become high energy plasma. The only other thing needes is a magnetic bottle.

So, while those guys I'm sure had a design intent of there own, in order for warp cores to produce that amazing amount of energy the neutrinos need to converted because they carry 99 percent of the energy away from the reaction and they don't react with anything but water....occasionally.

That's also why they don't need that much matter and antimatter.
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Old July 11 2009, 11:35 AM   #44
DiamondJoe
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

"No...Dilithium isn't needed for the reactor...just one thing is necessary....
a shield. Not for containment but for decaying the neutinos so that the energy produce by the reaction could have an effect on the matter and become high energy plasma. The only other thing needes is a magnetic bottle.

So, while those guys I'm sure had a design intent of there own, in order for warp cores to produce that amazing amount of energy the neutrinos need to converted because they carry 99 percent of the energy away from the reaction and they don't react with anything but water....occasionally.

That's also why they don't need that much matter and antimatter. "

Saquist - where are you getting this info? Dilithium IS needed for the reactor, it always has been since TOS. Dilithium is the regulating element that prevents matter and antimatter from annihiliating one another in an explosive, uncontrolled reaction. It allows them to meet and converts the reaction into plasma.
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Old July 11 2009, 03:04 PM   #45
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

DiamondJoe wrote: View Post
"No...Dilithium isn't needed for the reactor...just one thing is necessary....
a shield. Not for containment but for decaying the neutinos so that the energy produce by the reaction could have an effect on the matter and become high energy plasma. The only other thing needes is a magnetic bottle.

So, while those guys I'm sure had a design intent of there own, in order for warp cores to produce that amazing amount of energy the neutrinos need to converted because they carry 99 percent of the energy away from the reaction and they don't react with anything but water....occasionally.

That's also why they don't need that much matter and antimatter. "

Saquist - where are you getting this info? Dilithium IS needed for the reactor, it always has been since TOS. Dilithium is the regulating element that prevents matter and antimatter from annihiliating one another in an explosive, uncontrolled reaction. It allows them to meet and converts the reaction into plasma.
This is untrue.

Actually, BOTH of you are projecting more onto TOS/TMP ship design than we "really" know.

From TOS, all we know is that dilithium is somehow used in the creation of useable power. There is no clear definition as to what, exactly, it does. There is ZERO reason, from TOS, to believe that dilithium crystals are used in the actual matter/antimatter reaction process. (In TMP, we know even LESS. They never even mention "dilithium" in regards to the TMP-era ship.)

What we know, for certain, is that without the dilithium, the TOS ship "loses power." This, obviously, doesn't mean that annihilation of matter and antimatter doesn't produce ENERGY. The physics of that sort of annihilation reaction is a well-understood (if mostly still theoretical) concept, in REAL science (as opposed to "Treknology").

So, we are driven to assume one of the following about the TOS ship:
1) The matter/antimatter reaction must be shut down if the dilithium is not present and working properly,

OR

2) The dilithium is what is used to convert the m/am reaction products into "usable energy."
For the purposes of TOS, WE HAVE NO CANON IDEA WHICH IS THE CASE. NO idea whatsoever.

I, personally, like the second far better than the first. There is some "pseudo-science" out there, in Trekdom, based upon things which have been stated about "dilithium" on-screen over the years, which supports this viewpoint. And there's a little bit of... "predictive real science" that can support it as well, though it's almost entirely speculative in nature.

Look at the one "working" dilithium crystal we see during TOS. It's a prismatic shape of amber-colored crystal. Flat, and roughly rectangular, with a pair of "grip points" on either end. We saw that crystal prop multiple times, starting with "The Alternative Factor" but repeatedly after that.

What I see this doing is simple... pass the high-energy stream from the m/am reaction through this crystal, and you get a very high-level "potential difference" along the crystalline structure. In other words... electrical power.

Sort of like a super-charged photocell... that's a good analogy.

The actual WARP effect may use "pure electromagnetic energy" to generate it... that's so far beyond real science that we can't even begin to discuss it practically. But even if that's the case, without the control systems, force fields, cooling systems, etc, etc... all of which require "usable power" to drive them... warp drive won't work anyway.

And there's plenty of evidence, particularly in TOS, to believe that electrical power is used throughout the ship.

I see "dilithium" as being the replacement for using "steam turbines" to convert reaction energy into usable power. (That's what we do, today, to convert any energy - heat from a nuclear reaction, or heat from combustion, or geothermal heat, for example) into power.

And the tendency for sci-fi buffs to reject electrical power as part of the "sci-fi technology" realm is sort of silly. It's real, it works, it's a fundamental part of all reality. There's no compelling reason NOT to use it, if it's able to do the trick... and in every case we can envision right now, it's more than sufficient.
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