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Old June 4 2010, 02:19 AM   #16
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: battles at warp speed

^^ I don't recall any warp speed phaser battles between ships of different warp velocities in other series except for TOS. "Journey to Babel" had a Orion ship phaser strafe the Enterprise at a much, much higher warp difference between the two ships.

Also, "The Ultimate Computer" seemed to imply that the Enterprise fired phasers at different ships while accelerating between different warp speeds.

So, in TOS, different warp speeds don't seem to matter. TNG, etc, I dunno.
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Old June 4 2010, 07:32 AM   #17
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: battles at warp speed

VOY showed one interesting "warp strafing run" where the weapon of choice wasn't the phaser, but the transporter. In "Maneuvers", it should have been possible to beam out Chakotay from the Kazon ship while flying past at respectable warp; the plan was foiled by a special dampening field, though, and the encounter degraded into a sublight melee.

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Old June 24 2010, 09:48 PM   #18
ourichie
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Re: battles at warp speed

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Good examples, Timo. Were there ever any instances of any pursuing warp ship firing their weapons forward? Or were they all just about firing aft weapons at the pursuer?
I should've been more clear - any examples of warp speed combat in TNG that had ships firing forward?

I'm very aware that TOS had warp speed combat and Voyager, DS9 and Enterprise also dabbled in it once a while.

I'm specifically getting at whether the dearth of warp speed combat (with phasers) in TNG was due to the adherence to their published TNG:TM...
A good episode showing warp speed phaser fire is VOY Message in a Bottle when a Nebula-Class is seen firing fore phasers at the Prometheus
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Old June 26 2010, 08:43 PM   #19
Timo
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Re: battles at warp speed

...And the three parts of the Prometheus then surround the Nebula (not named in dialogue, but the CGI model bore the pennant lettering Bonchune) and fire at her from multiple directions, including angles that differ markedly from their flightpath.

http://voy.trekcore.com/gallery/albu...bottle_129.jpg

TNG carefully avoided showing any sort of phaser activity at warp, although it's not clear if this was by design or by chance. Not even dialogue or background noises really suggest the use of phasers at warp in TNG.

However, if TNG era ships weren't capable of firing phasers at warp, it's a bit odd that they would be able to bother the Borg Cube enough to challenge her to a fight at Wolf 359 (as opposed to the Borg simply warping directly to Earth). Phasers at least did something against Cubes, whereas photon torpedoes in "Q Who?" were shown to be almost completely impotent...

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Old June 27 2010, 03:52 AM   #20
blssdwlf
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Re: battles at warp speed

@Timo - Yeah, I think that in hindsight, since no TNG dialogue ever said it couldn't be done in TNG then there was no particular reason for phasers not to work while at warp.
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Old June 27 2010, 05:25 AM   #21
jolau
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Re: battles at warp speed

I would think simple physics might be at play here, similar to that of say throwing a tennis ball back and forth on a moving airplane. Throwing the ball forwards won't cause the ball to be thrown backwards. It's actualy moving at the speed of the airplane + the speed its thrown forward at. Gravity effects the ball, therefore it loses momentum, falls to the floor and comes back to you.
But uneffected by gravity, the ball would probably keep moving at the velocity it was thrown (velocity of the throwing person + velocity of the throw)

Ditto with say, photon torpedoes. Firing forwards, the torpedo is travelling at the speed of the firing ship + the speed the torpedo is travelling when it is fired.
Similarly, firing forwards, the phaser beam actually travels at whichever warp speed + the light speed of the phaser beam.
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Old June 29 2010, 08:47 PM   #22
Brandonv
Fleet Captain
 
Re: battles at warp speed

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
As for beams, the answer is simple: light always travels at the speed of light in all reference frames. So even if you're moving at warp five and the other ship is moving at warp five, a beam of light still moves as a beam of light back and forth between you.
I don't think this explanation works, because if a ship cannot outrun it's own light cone while at warp, then warp speed is no longer FTL, because the ship will not be able to outrun a beam of light in any reference frame.

I think it is best to ignore relativity when dealing with warp speeds.
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Old June 30 2010, 05:28 AM   #23
Crazy Eddie
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Re: battles at warp speed

Brandonv wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
As for beams, the answer is simple: light always travels at the speed of light in all reference frames. So even if you're moving at warp five and the other ship is moving at warp five, a beam of light still moves as a beam of light back and forth between you.
I don't think this explanation works, because if a ship cannot outrun it's own light cone while at warp, then warp speed is no longer FTL, because the ship will not be able to outrun a beam of light in any reference frame.
Sure it can. Just not in its OWN reference frame. That's the thing about relativity: all objects are stationary in their own reference frame, the theory only predicts that an object cannot travel faster than light in other frames. Warp drive gets around this by warping space itself, literally changing the parameters of that frame so it becomes a non-inertial one and the normal laws of special relativity only apply locally.

I think it is best to ignore relativity when dealing with warp speeds.
True, but it offers a convenient explanation for why a phaser beam fired forward doesn't instantly loop around and hit you in the face. Since there's no such thing as a "true" reference frame, then by extension there's no such thing as "true" velocity, only relative velocity, so a phaser beam always moves at the same velocity relative to whoever's looking at it.
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Old June 30 2010, 10:48 PM   #24
Brandonv
Fleet Captain
 
Re: battles at warp speed

The way I picture warp drive working, is that a ship carries its own inertial reference frame along with it inside the warp bubble. So if a ship at warp fired a phaser forward I would expect that the beam - while inside the "warp bubble" - would travel at C away from the ship, just like relativity predicts. But where things get confusing for me is predicting what would happen after the phaser beam passes through the warp bubble and enters a different reference frame.

newtype_alpha, if I understand correctly you are saying that even once outside the warp field, the phaser beam will be observed to move at C away from the ship (from the ships pov).

The problem I have with that is this: Imagine that you have a radio transmitter at point A and a receiver one light-year distant at point B. Lets say that as soon as the transmitter emits a radio signal, a ship at point A goes to warp and travels toward point B. Since you say that even a ship at warp will observe light outside the warp bubble as traveling at C, this means that even if the ship is traveling, say, warp 9, the ship will not catch up with the radio signal. So how long does it then take the ship to travel from A to B?

Last edited by Brandonv; July 1 2010 at 01:56 AM.
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Old July 1 2010, 01:59 AM   #25
Leathco
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Re: battles at warp speed

This is just a guess. The warp field of the other ship would be inside the shields, so weapons fired at warp wouldn't enter an enemies warp field unless their shields are down. Once their shields were down they'd have to drop out of warp or risk a hull breach from spatial objects striking the hull at warp.

As far as firing at warp, the object being fired should start out at the same speed as the ship doing the firing due to momentum. An increase of force behind the object being fired, whether torpedo or phaser/disruptor, would be sufficiend to get the weapon to the target.

I may be way off with all this, just an idea.
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Old July 1 2010, 05:54 PM   #26
Crazy Eddie
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Re: battles at warp speed

Brandonv wrote: View Post
The problem I have with that is this: Imagine that you have a radio transmitter at point A and a receiver one light-year distant at point B. Lets say that as soon as the transmitter emits a radio signal, a ship at point A goes to warp and travels toward point B. Since you say that even a ship at warp will observe light outside the warp bubble as traveling at C, this means that even if the ship is traveling, say, warp 9, the ship will not catch up with the radio signal. So how long does it then take the ship to travel from A to B?
The thing is, the ship is no longer in the same reference frame that it was when it made the transmission. So if you send the signal, wait a few minutes and then punch it into warp nine, you will indeed receive your own radio signal (in reverse, of course, and ridiculously blue-shifted) as you pass through it again.

The confusing part is what happens if you transmit WHILE at warp. YOU perceive the radio signal moving away from you at the speed of light. Your destination perceives it moving TOWARDS him at the speed of light. Under the conventional rules of special relativity--that is to say, mathematically-- BOTH of you would be correct; even more confusing is the fact that you would perceive your target recieving the signal just before you arrive and your target would perceive the signal arriving AFTER you arrive, and again--mathematically speaking--both of you would be correct.

The REALLY confusing part is that, five minutes later, when the transmitting ship drops out of warp just prior to arriving, he suddenly re-enters his target's reference frame and then gets to witness his radio signal reaching the target AGAIN, this time from the target's reference frame.

I'd have to break this down into stages for you to see it:
Stage 1
- Starship goes to warp at Point A, sends a signal towards Point B
Stage 2
- Ship's frame: Signal moves away from the ship at Lightspeed.
- Target frame: Signal moves towards B at Lightspeed.
Stage 3
- Ship's frame: Signal arrives at B.
- Target frame: Signal still moving towards B at lightspeed
Stage 4
- Ship's frame: Ship drops out of warp
- Target frame: Ship drops out of warp
Stage 5
- Ship's frame: Signal arrives at B
- Target frame: Signal arrives at B

Now wrap your brain around THIS: if the ship never drops out of warp, then it only perceives B recieving the signal once. That the ship's perception of reality and the target's perception of reality contradict each other doesn't matter at all, because both of them are still in different reference frames and are both mathematically correct with respect to the laws of physics vis a vis their own frames. It is only when the ship DROPS OUT OF WARP--or even when the target GOES to warp--that this condition changes and both enter each other's reference frames.

In a way, it's true that travel at warp is to travel through a slightly different universe. This is only because the presence of a warp field is fucking with the laws of physics around your ship so that those laws are different for you than they are for everyone else in the galaxy. That's why you can't change the gravitational constant of the universe, but you CAN change the gravitational constant of, say, a large asteroid you're trying to push out of your way.
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Old July 1 2010, 09:39 PM   #27
mtblillie
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Re: battles at warp speed

This is one big problem with warp drive in star trek, and most FTL drives in sci-fi for that matter. Roddenberry admitted that he had actually intended the ship to become transparent while at warp, since the vessel is moving so fast that light would not be able to keep up with it to be seen.

This however, does not really work for most audiences, so they made the ship opaque with stars streaking by.

-Although, I kind of always thought that instead of disappearing, it should be more like when you hear an airplane after it has already passed by. Maybe there is an instantaneous flash of light but by the time you see it the ship had passed by long before, and that is simply the amount of time it has taken for the light to reach your eyes or sensors or whatever. Iono I guess that wouldn't really work but it would be kinda cool.
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Old July 1 2010, 10:04 PM   #28
Brandonv
Fleet Captain
 
Re: battles at warp speed

Thanks for the detailed explanation, newtype_alpha.
mtblillie wrote: View Post
This is one big problem with warp drive in star trek, and most FTL drives in sci-fi for that matter.
Something that science-fiction almost always ignores, is that faster than light travel breaks causality. See here.

For the sake of suspending disbelief, I guess we have to assume that the relationship between space and time is somehow different at warp speed.
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Old July 2 2010, 01:35 AM   #29
Crazy Eddie
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Re: battles at warp speed

^ Or just way too complicated to pay attention to. Since most of your target audience are not astrophysicists (and even physicists don't have an intuitive understanding of SR) it's not suspension of disbelief so much as suspension of detailed research.
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Old July 21 2010, 03:12 AM   #30
Omega_Glory
Commodore
 
Location: Colorado, USA
Re: battles at warp speed

In TOS, virtually every battle where weapons were fired at warp speed occurred with the warp speed ship firing on a sublight target. The only exception may be the M5 incident but I don't recall exactly. When firing at a sublight target, the weapons do not have to be traveling at FTL....they just "drop out" so to speak like a plane dropping bombs.
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