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

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Old January 16 2014, 04:22 AM   #16
LOLPeanutButter
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

Neutronium laminate? I'd hate to be the bastard who has to glue that in place.
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Old January 16 2014, 03:28 PM   #17
Robert Comsol
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

LOLPeanutButter wrote: View Post
Of course arguing "what does it MEAN" can be fun too. Right now I've set this as "story canon" for what I am working on.
You will do what you feel is right, of course.

"Somehow the antimatter in the warp drive pods has been deactivated."

Nevertheless, the dialogue is abundantly clear that "something" happened to the antimatter and not the containment it had been stored in.

TOS is full of strange wording or even euphemism. The "matter-antimatter integrator" mentioned in "That Which Survives" makes matter-antimatter reaction sound like nuclear fusion while it is instead annihilation.

In a broader sense "deactivation" means that something ceases to function. The only function of onboard antimatter is to annihilate with normal matter. The moment the planet killer somehow reversed the spin of the antimatter particles (thus and probably turning these into normal matter) these ceased to function in a manner of speaking.

Another explanation could be that Scotty prepped Washburn to make technical reports to the captain in such a fashion that the captain (and the audience!) would understand and not be embarrassed by asking back "What do you [does it] mean rendered inert?"

Bob
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Old January 16 2014, 08:28 PM   #18
LOLPeanutButter
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

I work as a stationary engineer now, it's rather boring as the trade has become fully automated. Basically I sit there in the utility-room office watching an automated supervisory screen and reacting to situations... by reading other screens. I dispatch the other tradesmen (mostly electricians and e-techs) to make repairs and adjustments that the computer can't deal with.

We burn fuel oil.

Most of the time we refer to the storage and delivery system as "the fuel" rather than "the fuel oil system." Thus when we had a pump shit itself at 4am during a cold snap at peak steam delivery hour (facility laundry and overnight sterilization) I had to tell MY boss: "Something's wrong with the the fuel at the moment, the mechanic's working on it, should be back up within the hour."

So there is real world precedent for technical people using shorthand, I know other facilities like ours have their own shorthand and language. It is entirely possible that " ... Somehow the antimatter in the warp drive pods has been deactivated." is referring to to the entire system being rendered inert. Cold shutdown, venting, and restart lockout of the entire antimatter system. Rather than elaborate on that in a time-crunch they simply say "antimatter has been deactivated." If and when they need more information they'll ask for it (how? why? repair?) or check the diagnostics themselves.

Last edited by LOLPeanutButter; January 16 2014 at 08:41 PM.
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Old January 17 2014, 02:00 AM   #19
blssdwlf
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

LOLPeanutButter wrote: View Post
Neutronium laminate? I'd hate to be the bastard who has to glue that in place.
They used a 3D printer. It's all good

It's an interesting premise to think of the deactivated "antimatter fuel system" in the warp drive pods to have vented out their supply. But what about the antimatter not in the warp drive pods? There is the antimatter fuel in the engineering hull ("That Which Survives") and also possibly the antimatter fuel on Deck 11 in "Errand of Mercy" to consider.

BTW, I do agree that the antimatter fuel is generated as needed instead of giant fuel containers as portrayed in later Trek.
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Old January 17 2014, 03:19 AM   #20
LOLPeanutButter
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

I would imagine there are either inerting protocols in place or provisions for venting in all antimatter situations.

An antimatter interting system would dump the antimatter against a really dense really heavy piece of something and let it 'burn itself out' in a controlled way, dumping the resulting particle bath and gamma-rays through a wave-guide. Such a system would be useful for small amounts. Larger tanks would have a venting system in place or an outright jettison system.


blssdwlf wrote: View Post
LOLPeanutButter wrote: View Post
Neutronium laminate? I'd hate to be the bastard who has to glue that in place.
They used a 3D printer. It's all good

It's an interesting premise to think of the deactivated "antimatter fuel system" in the warp drive pods to have vented out their supply. But what about the antimatter not in the warp drive pods? There is the antimatter fuel in the engineering hull ("That Which Survives") and also possibly the antimatter fuel on Deck 11 in "Errand of Mercy" to consider.

BTW, I do agree that the antimatter fuel is generated as needed instead of giant fuel containers as portrayed in later Trek.
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Old January 17 2014, 01:46 PM   #21
Robert Comsol
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
It's an interesting premise to think of the deactivated "antimatter fuel system" in the warp drive pods to have vented out their supply.
Assuming that the front of the TOS starship nacelles contained the matter-antimatter reactors (those of the Constellation had been destroyed), there'd be indeed little reason to keep antimatter supplies in the warp nacelles as these would only constitute an unnecessary hazard.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
But what about the antimatter not in the warp drive pods? There is the antimatter fuel in the engineering hull ("That Which Survives") and also possibly the antimatter fuel on Deck 11 in "Errand of Mercy" to consider.
Could be a useful hint that the Constellation belonged to the Constitution Starship Class (NCC-16XX) and only the Enterprise Starship Class (NCC-17XX) featured another M/AM reactor in the engineering hull and the antimatter pods on Deck 11.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
BTW, I do agree that the antimatter fuel is generated as needed instead of giant fuel containers as portrayed in later Trek.
I most certainly don't. The amount of energy you need to put into the creation of antimatter equals the amount of energy yield you could get from matter-antimatter annihilation ("You canna change the laws of physics").

These enigmatic antimatter generators look like "magic".

On the other hand, if those large deuterium tanks (e.g. NCC-1701-D) were antimatter tanks I believe it might be easier to rationalize that space energy and/or matter is collected during flight. Hydrogen particles are available in open space, antimatter is not.

I would find it much easier to assume that warping space requires less M/AM annihilation than assumed. However, matter and antimatter tanks should have a more or less equal volume to credibly illustrate the 1:1 annihilation ratio.

Bob
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Old January 17 2014, 03:36 PM   #22
blssdwlf
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
But what about the antimatter not in the warp drive pods? There is the antimatter fuel in the engineering hull ("That Which Survives") and also possibly the antimatter fuel on Deck 11 in "Errand of Mercy" to consider.
Could be a useful hint that the Constellation belonged to the Constitution Starship Class (NCC-16XX) and only the Enterprise Starship Class (NCC-17XX) featured another M/AM reactor in the engineering hull and the antimatter pods on Deck 11.
That's a possibility.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
BTW, I do agree that the antimatter fuel is generated as needed instead of giant fuel containers as portrayed in later Trek.
I most certainly don't. The amount of energy you need to put into the creation of antimatter equals the amount of energy yield you could get from matter-antimatter annihilation ("You canna change the laws of physics").

These enigmatic antimatter generators look like "magic".
Of course warp drive and dilithium crystals look like "magic" as well. The amount of power the TOS Enterprise puts out is quite large (push a moon, go for it!) and her range is so great (Andromeda galaxy, no problem with fuel ) that she has effectively an unlimited, regenerating supply of antimatter. How she regenerates antimatter that's the magic. We've discussed this before in other threads whether it's dilithium tapping into an alternate antimatter universe, a variation of the zero point energy, etc. It just "works".

I don't think she carries giant fuel containers but large enough tanks to power her for a while under full load and to look like a nova when it goes off catastrophically.

TNG's tech went in a different direction (which I'd argue it's a different tech in a parallel universe) where their science and technology wasn't as magical. They did have fuel limitations with their warp drive although they slipped back into TOS thinking in "Booby Trap" where they burned more m-am fuel in a different dilithium arrangement to extend their am fuel supplies...
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Old January 17 2014, 04:12 PM   #23
blssdwlf
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

LOLPeanutButter wrote: View Post
I would imagine there are either inerting protocols in place or provisions for venting in all antimatter situations.

An antimatter interting system would dump the antimatter against a really dense really heavy piece of something and let it 'burn itself out' in a controlled way, dumping the resulting particle bath and gamma-rays through a wave-guide. Such a system would be useful for small amounts. Larger tanks would have a venting system in place or an outright jettison system.
One other thing I forgot to mention is the different thinking of the TOS writers. Back then, they depicted antimatter as something more powerful than what we know today. Such as an ounce blasting half an atmosphere away and affecting a ship 30,000 km distant in "Obsession" or a small quantity enough to blast apart an Earth-sized space amoeba from the inside as in "The Immunity Syndrome". So I don't think in TOS there would be a way to inert the fuel. Jettison the pods containing the fuel, yes.

Terminology-wise, in "The Apple" they were specific that potency was being lost in the "antimatter pods" and these pods were mentioned to be ejectable whereas "The Doomsday Machine" they say specifically "the antimatter" which is much harder to assume that they meant "the antimatter fuel system" instead of the fuel itself. There just isn't enough context to go further than the fuel, IMHO.

Tangentially, in TNG, antimatter was made more-or-less harmless as evidenced by the antimatter show distraction in "Best of Both Worlds". It could destroy ships, but you'd need a whole lot more to do it.
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Old January 18 2014, 02:23 PM   #24
Robert Comsol
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Re: Doomsday Torpedoes

I feel the need to rethink the opening in my last post. Again, the original dialogue:

"Somehow the antimatter in the warp drive pods has been deactivated."

Washburn's report clearly suggests that the assumed shut-down of the warp nacelles' M/AM reactors and the venting of antimatter supplies was "somehow" initiated by the planet killer.

We all remember the scene where the planet killer apparently wants to suck the Enterprise inside (to risk it blowing up?!?) which may be a misinterpretation of what would have actually happened in the next scene:

A beam from the maw of the planet killer, disrupting the M/AM reactors at the front of the nacelles, thus initiating an emergency venting of antimatter which the planet killer then takes in to replenish its own antimatter ("anti-proton") supplies...

What a clever way of the planet killer to disable an attacking ship: by stealing its source of power and - worse - adding it to its own power supplies.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Of course warp drive and dilithium crystals look like "magic" as well. The amount of power the TOS Enterprise puts out is quite large (push a moon, go for it!) and her range is so great (Andromeda galaxy, no problem with fuel ) that she has effectively an unlimited, regenerating supply of antimatter. How she regenerates antimatter that's the magic. We've discussed this before in other threads whether it's dilithium tapping into an alternate antimatter universe, a variation of the zero point energy, etc. It just "works".
I'm more and more inclined to believe that matter-antimatter annihilation and dilithium crystals are somewhat combined to enable the ship to tap into the enigmatic (but "real") dark energy which is the actual element that enables the warping of space (unless I'm mistaken that's the only property of dark energy that has been observed, it warps space).

It never ceases to amaze me, that this idea apparently had already been brought forward to Franz Joseph Schnaubelt in 1976:
"But in theory you would need only a very, very tiny antimatter-starting chamber to start the whole mechanism pulling in energy. Dilithium crystals are very unstable, so with a starting chamber full of dilithium, a few added atoms of antimatter will provide the driving force to get the whole system charged up and sucking in space energy. Now beyond that..."

Bob
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