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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old June 7 2013, 08:28 PM   #151
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

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I assumed that without the ship's warp field, the thrusters would be insufficient to slow or correct the Enterprise's descent. Once the warp reactor is fixed, we see the warp engines begin to turn as power is restored, generating the mass reduction field necessary to make the thrusters worthwhile.
CC likes this, even if it is at odds with Tomorrow Is Yesterday (or STID, for that matter).
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Old June 7 2013, 08:28 PM   #152
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

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Admiral Buzzkill,

We are told explicitly that the warp engines and auxiliary power were off -line. From visual evidence, I can infer that the impulse engines are off-line because they are not "lit" and an inspection of the damage reveals that the deck has been hit.

(For the record, I recognize that you don't like me. Well, I don't like you, either.)
Well, I'm not sure what brought that parenthetical remark on, but it really doesn't belong here.

I'll grant that Admiral Buzzkill can sometimes be a bit rough on ideas/opinions/claims expressed by others, but bear in mind that you are not your posts, your posts are not you. If he's been less than complimentary toward one of yours (or even more than one) that's no reason to take any of it personally.
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Old June 7 2013, 09:07 PM   #153
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

The Stig wrote: View Post
I assumed that without the ship's warp field, the thrusters would be insufficient to slow or correct the Enterprise's descent. Once the warp reactor is fixed, we see the warp engines begin to turn as power is restored, generating the mass reduction field necessary to make the thrusters worthwhile.
Does the warp field really do that ? I was under the impression that warp drive simply moves space around the ship, rendering the need for thrust moot.
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Old June 7 2013, 09:13 PM   #154
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

Belz... wrote: View Post
The Stig wrote: View Post
I assumed that without the ship's warp field, the thrusters would be insufficient to slow or correct the Enterprise's descent. Once the warp reactor is fixed, we see the warp engines begin to turn as power is restored, generating the mass reduction field necessary to make the thrusters worthwhile.
Does the warp field really do that ? I was under the impression that warp drive simply moves space around the ship, rendering the need for thrust moot.
By TNG: Deja Q, and what they did to move the asteroid moon, warp fields reduce inertial mass.
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Old June 7 2013, 09:48 PM   #155
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

Well that's just confusing, then. Maybe the folks who made that show should've made up their damn mind.
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Old June 7 2013, 10:39 PM   #156
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

Actually it was the impulse engines that reduced the ship's mass -- otherwise it would've taken weeks to accelerate a vessel that size to a velocity suitable for interplanetary travel, and a comparable time to decelerate. Think about how oil supertankers need hundreds of miles to slow to a stop or even to make a turn because of their immense mass and momentum.

However, the impulse engines used a low-level (below 1000 millicochranes) warp field to achieve the mass reduction. After all, mass and spacetime distortion are essentially the same thing, so the best way to cancel out an object's mass would be to "flatten" the spacetime around it. And a warp field is what you use to bend spacetime.
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Old June 7 2013, 10:57 PM   #157
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

The impulse engines use a warp field ? That's messed up. Why not just use the warp engines for sublight, then ?
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Old June 7 2013, 11:09 PM   #158
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

I'd buy that the impulse engines (always described as conventional rockets in the 1960's and 1970's tie-in material, by the way, and very strongly suggested as such in TOS) are fully effective only when a low-level warp field is also used, but not that the impulse engines themselves reduce the ship's mass.

Another reasonable alternative would be that inertial dampeners are required for high impulse acceleration. Or, I could by that inertial dampeners are implemented via a low-level warp field.

However, the very term "impulse engine" implies propulsion via Newton's third law. Hence, the original conception of them as nothing but rockets, possibly using nuclear fusion as the reaction.
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Old June 7 2013, 11:17 PM   #159
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

^Exactly. "Impulse engine" is simply a fancy name for "rocket." There was at least one episode where Kirk actually referred to them as rockets. But as I said, the more massive a ship gets, the less effective rockets are at accelerating it, because of inertia. A ship the size of the Enterprise-D would take forever to get up to speed or to turn onto a new heading. So once ships got that big, it became necessary to supplement the impulse engines -- i.e. the fusion rockets -- with a mass reduction field, so that the ship would become effectively light enough that the engines could accelerate it more easily.

Granted, there's no reason they couldn't use warp engines for sublight propulsion. In fact, the real-life theoretical warp equation developed by Miguel Alcubierre, and refined by other theorists since, might actually be more feasible to use at sublight than faster than light, due to the enormous practical difficulties with the latter. But you'd still need some kind of secondary propulsion system based on conventional thrust. An Alcubierre-type warp field could only take you in a preferred direction if you had already thrust your ship in that direction before you engaged it. So it stands to reason that impulse drive might have advantages for sublight propulsion that warp drive wouldn't. You could use warp drive to maneuver at impulse, but it's not the best thing for that particular job.
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Old June 7 2013, 11:27 PM   #160
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

^ Good. I was just balking at the particular wording, "it was the impulse engines that reduced the ship's mass".
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Old June 8 2013, 12:39 AM   #161
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

Well, it's a component of the impulse engines. Basic impulse engines don't have the mass-reduction coils, but more sophisticated ones do. (Maybe this is what Scotty meant in "Balance of Terror" when he said the Romulans' "power is simple impulse" -- that they were just using pure rockets instead of mass reduction and thus weren't as maneuverable at impulse as the Enterprise.)
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Old June 8 2013, 12:41 AM   #162
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

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I'd buy that the impulse engines (always described as conventional rockets in the 1960's and 1970's tie-in material, by the way, and very strongly suggested as such in TOS) are fully effective only when a low-level warp field is also used, but not that the impulse engines themselves reduce the ship's mass.
So they are more effective when the warp engines are also online. This might explain why the 1701-D's nacelles were always on.

Another reasonable alternative would be that inertial dampeners are required for high impulse acceleration. Or, I could by that inertial dampeners are implemented via a low-level warp field.
The incredible G forces that the inertial dampeners deal with should mean that weapon hits on the hull have no effect on the crew. Alas, drama rules.

However, the very term "impulse engine" implies propulsion via Newton's third law.
I always thought it meant they were a type of nuclear pulse propulsion.
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Old June 8 2013, 12:42 AM   #163
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

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But you'd still need some kind of secondary propulsion system based on conventional thrust. An Alcubierre-type warp field could only take you in a preferred direction if you had already thrust your ship in that direction before you engaged it.
Really ? Again, I was under the impression that the Alcubierre drive actually moved the space around the ship.
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Old June 8 2013, 12:45 AM   #164
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

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However, the very term "impulse engine" implies propulsion via Newton's third law. Hence, the original conception of them as nothing but rockets, possibly using nuclear fusion as the reaction.
That's the general impression I've gotten for years now. The "atomic matter piles" referred to in the TOS episode "Court Martial" as existing aboard the Starship Republic might very well have been connected to the ship's impulse drive, plus there've been a few times in the history of the franchise when sublight impulse propulsion was referred to as using nuclear fusion reactions. To be frank, I've accepted Starfleet impulse drives as being nuclear in nature since I was very young and learning what I could about the designs of starships in the franchise.
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Old June 8 2013, 01:03 AM   #165
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Re: What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

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So they are more effective when the warp engines are also online. This might explain why the 1701-D's nacelles were always on.
No -- just because warp engines can be used as mass-reduction fields, that doesn't mean they automatically reduce mass. We're talking about two different spacetime metrics (i.e. shapes for the fabric of space) here. A warp field would be a pretty severe distortion of the shape of spacetime, akin to a very large, dense, and quite oddly shaped body comprising positive and negative mass. A mass-reduction field would be a flattening-out of spacetime, a cancellation of the spacetime distortion created by the mass of the ship. So the same technology is needed to make them both, but that technology is being applied in very different ways. A warp engine could have its field configuration tuned to have a mass-reduction effect, but then it wouldn't be tuned for warp drive.


However, the very term "impulse engine" implies propulsion via Newton's third law.
I always thought it meant they were a type of nuclear pulse propulsion.
Which are an example of propulsion via Newton's third law, i.e. reaction thrust.


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But you'd still need some kind of secondary propulsion system based on conventional thrust. An Alcubierre-type warp field could only take you in a preferred direction if you had already thrust your ship in that direction before you engaged it.
Really ? Again, I was under the impression that the Alcubierre drive actually moved the space around the ship.
My understanding is that the directionality of the field is unpredictable unless you already have a motion vector (although relative to what is the question). I'm afraid I can't remember where I read it, though, and I'm having no luck tracking it down with a keyword search.
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