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

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Old October 4 2011, 10:27 PM   #121
TIN_MAN
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
It's possible that the TOS ship features an "afterburner" of sorts - that annihilation happens in the "That Which Survives" location, but that one gets extra oomph by channeling some antimatter directly into the warp coil system. There seems to be a distinct lack of situations where the warp nacelles would threaten to explode and would have to be jettisoned for that reason; this rather speaks against the continuous presence of antimatter in the nacelles.
Now, that idea, I like.
Psst, this is essentially my multi-stage warp drive system I outlined a few days/pages ago.

"I’ve been toying around with the Idea that since the resulting product from proton/anti-proton annihilation is anything but simple energy, the M/AM reactor must be equally complex.

Essentially, what you ultimately end up with is electrons, positrons, neutrinos, and gamma rays. The neutrinos are lost, taking away about 55% of the energy produced by the reaction, so maybe that’s where dilithium comes in, but anyway, it’s possible to extract energy from the electrons, positrons, and gamma rays using more conventional methods.

My thinking is the gamma rays are absorbed somehow in the “first/primary stage” reactor located in the secondary hull and converted into usable energy for most of the ships normal operations. But the electrons/positrons are electromagnetically separated out before they can undergo mutual annihilation and constitute the “warp plasma” that is then sent up to the nacelles to the “second/final stage” M/AM reactors where the resulting (gamma ray) energy from the electrons/positron annihilations power the warp coils.

The plasma injectors we see in ST:TNG would then be of two different kinds, half would be for matter and half for anti-matter? Perhaps the warp (gravity) field generated by the coils contains the explosive energy, which explains why we see the warp plasma “sprayed” into the mostly empty space within the nacelles? In any case, what we see in TNG isn’t that different than we see in TAS with what Mendel later designated as “cycling stations”, so an evolution in technology is implied?

Of course, a lot depends on ones definition of what constitutes a “reactor” or “engine”. In this scheme the entire nacelle constitutes both a M/AM reactor and an engine of sorts.

This way, all TOS references to “anti-matter nacelles/pods”, “power nacelles” etc. not to mention strategies to jettison the nacelles when the matter/anti-matter “fuel” is somehow endangering the ship, all make sense. Yet “That Which Survives” indicating a central and accessible location for the M/AM integrator is also satisfied.

And perhaps best of all, this setup segues nicely into post TOS Trek tech. So what does everybody think?"
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Old October 5 2011, 07:55 AM   #122
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Timo said it better.
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Old October 5 2011, 11:42 AM   #123
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Timo wrote: View Post
Or Spock could be just listing separate items since he doesn't directly connect them by saying: "Blast damage in decks ten and eleven resulting in minor buckling in the antimatter pods and light casualties."
True enough. But the general gist of the litany is that damage was minor, not extensive. We saw hits slamming to the immediate vicinity of the torpedo launcher; if there were further hits (into the warp nacelles, say), the "light casualties" thing would be a bit less likely.
Although we don't see every exterior hit that lands on the Enterprise. If we look at "The Wrath of Khan" and "The Undiscovered Country", the only way to tell where *all* the hits landed was through a monitor station or a damage report like what Spock gave in "Errand of Mercy". The Klingon blasts could have rocked the pylons of the nacelles given the angle they were hitting the Enterprise.

Timo wrote: View Post
The evidence can be used in many ways, but one way is to tie together "antimatter pods on Deck 11", antimatter-warhead torpedoes, and the idea that not all antimatter pods (decidedly plural!) aboard the ship need be located in the same place - and certainly not limited to the two pod-like things dangling at the ends of the external pylons!
Agreed, but the nacelles/antimatter pods can work just as well.

Timo wrote: View Post
TOS dialogue seems to verify that main power and the flow of antimatter fuel is dependent on key instrumentation in the engineering hull, but there is also evidence that the warp engine nacelles may contain antimatter either at times, or then all the time. What would the antimatter be doing up there if not annihilating and generating power?
The antimatter reactor up in the nacelles could be annihilating and generating the space warp. And when not used for propulsion, have it's power added to the total power output for various purposes ("Catspaw", "The Paradise Syndrome", etc)

Timo wrote: View Post
It's possible that the TOS ship features an "afterburner" of sorts - that annihilation happens in the "That Which Survives" location, but that one gets extra oomph by channeling some antimatter directly into the warp coil system. There seems to be a distinct lack of situations where the warp nacelles would threaten to explode and would have to be jettisoned for that reason; this rather speaks against the continuous presence of antimatter in the nacelles.
"The Savage Curtain", "The Doomsday Machine", "That Which Survives" points to evidence that there is a continuous presence of antimatter in the nacelles. And "That Which Survives" and "The Savage Curtain" point to the "situations where the nacelles would threaten to explode".

The 2-stage idea gels pretty well with TOS, IMHO. The nacelle reactors (2nd stage) I think would be less an "afterburner" and more the main "space propeller" for "generating a space warp/ripping up space/screwing with time" as that's what a M/AM reaction in Trek seems to prefer to do The 1st stage would be more of the M/AM regeneration system that uses the dilithium to store/distribute usable energy and create/regenerate M/AM fuel that gets sent up to the 2nd stage. (IMHO).

Last edited by blssdwlf; October 5 2011 at 12:56 PM.
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Old October 5 2011, 02:38 PM   #124
Timo
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Re: TOS Nacelles

That "The starship indeed is full of "pods". But this very fact..." isn't a fact; it's an assumption on your part. The only other usage of "pod" in TOS, related to the ship, besides those synonymous with nacelle
Umm, that's an assumption on your part - that some of the pod references would dovetail into the nacelle references. Taking just the facts, there are warp drive pods, antimatter pods and ion pods at the very least, and then an assortment of nacelles.

I never considered these as connected references
But if you ignore the visuals showing a concentrated hit pattern, you are, well, assuming unseen hits elsewhere.

for all we know it could have been a ginormous nacelle-like thing picked up (or attached) at a nearby starbase before the ship headed into the nearest ion storm to take readings
That's an excellent idea, and one I might want to see visualized in a YouTube remix if not an actual authorized TOS redo!

It's just a tad odd, then, that a single officer could operate the thing, and that there would be confusion as to when exactly it was jettisoned; one could probably take witness statements from the twenty crewmembers who happened to look at a timepiece or otherwise establish an exact timefix when the ship shuddered mightily and shed all that weight!

Another problem there is that if an ion pod is not standard equipment, these storm-chasing missions become even more of a rarity, and Finney's hopes of using one as cover for his sinister plot take a plummet.

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Old October 5 2011, 02:55 PM   #125
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Re: TOS Nacelles

The Klingon blasts could have rocked the pylons of the nacelles given the angle they were hitting the Enterprise.
Quite possible. But the response of our heroes was swift and merciless (its fatal results suggesting the Klingon adversary was a puny one); there really wasn't time for additional hits, and little in the way of special or sound effects to suggest such hits when the camera was recording the bridge action.

Also, the hits on the saucer twisting the pylons would probably not mean "buckling" of the nacelles, but would be accurately reported as bent pylons.

the nacelles/antimatter pods can work just as well.
Can they? It's a bit difficult to see the nacelles as "residing on Deck 11" or even "featuring Deck 11"...

"The Savage Curtain", "The Doomsday Machine", "That Which Survives" points to evidence that there is a continuous presence of antimatter in the nacelles.
"DDM" speaks of antimatter in "warp drive pods", and the oddity of its absence from there. Could be the pods hooked up to the warp drive, somewhere deep in the bowels of the engineering hull just like in TNG; not necessarily a nacelle reference at all. Furthermore, visuals establish really extensive damage to the nacelles, making it a bit unlikely that a special report would be needed on the availability of antimatter in there!

"That Which Survives" shows that antimatter comes to contact with matter in the engineering hull, in a reaction chamber that is specifically spoken of in definite singular ("the bypass valve on the m/am reaction chamber"). The "matter-antimatter engines" of that episode thus seem to do all their annihilating outside the nacelles - unless we speculate that the nacelle annihilation does not involve any "chambers", which may dovetail into the afterburner idea.

"The Savage Curtain" disproves my earlier claim that exploding nacelles would never have been a threat, tho.

But if m/am is almost at "red zone", apparently losing containment ("shielding is breaking down"), what good will it do to disengage nacelles (Kirk's first preference) without jettisoning them (his second one)?

We might read the order "Disengage nacelles, jettison if possible" as involving two steps of fighting the menace of a containment failure in the secondary hull warp drive fuel pods. First, since the ship has lost power, is on battery power only, and apparently for that reason is going to lose containment shielding in four hours and will go kaboom, it would be a good idea to limit all other energy drainage to a minimum - that is, disengage the warp nacelles that normally are the biggest drain. In addition to that, the antimatter is to be jettisoned - from the secondary hull.

I could see jettisoning of internal fuel pods becoming "impossible" in certain situations, but why would there be uncertainty about the possibility of jettisoning the nacelles dangling on the pylons?

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 5 2011, 07:03 PM   #126
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

All nacelles are pods, but not all pods are nacelles.
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Old October 5 2011, 09:39 PM   #127
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Timo wrote: View Post
Umm, that's an assumption on your part - that some of the pod references would dovetail into the nacelle references. Taking just the facts, there are warp drive pods, antimatter pods and ion pods at the very least, and then an assortment of nacelles.
Yes, but then I never said my assumptions were facts.

However, IMHO sufficient evidence has been given in this thread to logically conclude that in TOS, "pod" when prefixed with "warp drive", "antimatter", "matter-antimatter" and "power" -all terms used identically as when followed by "nacelle"- refer to the propulsion units/engines, especially when one takes into consideration the context in which “pods” is used in the above instances.

But if you ignore the visuals showing a concentrated hit pattern, you are, well, assuming unseen hits elsewhere.
Er, what visuals showing a concentrated hit pattern? I don't recall anywhere in TOS when battle damage was shown on the Enterprise.

for all we know it could have been a ginormous nacelle-like thing picked up (or attached) at a nearby starbase before the ship headed into the nearest ion storm to take readings ...

That's an excellent idea, and one I might want to see visualized in a YouTube remix if not an actual authorized TOS redo!
Credit where it is due, FWIW this was T'girl's idea.

One thing that's worth mentioning, the question “what are the pods” in TOS is not an idle one, but goes right to the heart of the OP's stated goal for this thread, therefore we should beware of confusing the issue with TNGisms.

In TOS, pods = nacelles, only those who insist on shoehorning post TOS techno-babble into TOS tech seem to have a problem with this simple equation. There is no indication that the writers/producers of TOS ever thought of “pods” (in reference to Scotty’s engines) as anything else.

My point in quoting from "The Apple" was to underscore that Scotty refers to "pods" while Kirk refers to "nacelles", but it's clear that in this context each understands the other to be talking about the same thing.

One can assume here and elsewhere in TOS that "pods" refers to fuel tanks, but only by appealing to TNGisms.

Only in TNG do "pods" mean something else. And if it hadn't been for the post TOS "muddying of the waters" with this (one suspects) deliberate retcon of the term, I don’t think the original meaning would even be an issue for debate.

There is nothing in TOS to suggest that "pods" refers to mere fuel tanks, but quite a bit on the other hand, to suggest that it refers to "nacelles".

Also, If one appeals to TNGisms to “explain away” “pods” in TOS as referring to something else other than “nacelle” then one conveniently gets rid of about half the references in the series indicating that A-M reactor(s) and the fuel for same are in the nacelles, and the case for this is all the more weaker as a result.

It was this objective that was apparently the reason why the makers of later Trek re-defined the term in the first place. They evidently thought it was a clever way to skirt the issue and strengthen their new revised version of how warp drive works. To me this seems to be a bit of a cheat.

Anyway, we could go back and forth over this issue forever unless we first agree to make a distinction between “in universe” and “real world” references, as well as to “old school” and “new school” Trek.

Last edited by TIN_MAN; October 6 2011 at 01:43 AM.
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Old October 6 2011, 05:53 AM   #128
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Timo wrote: View Post
The Klingon blasts could have rocked the pylons of the nacelles given the angle they were hitting the Enterprise.
Quite possible. But the response of our heroes was swift and merciless (its fatal results suggesting the Klingon adversary was a puny one); there really wasn't time for additional hits, and little in the way of special or sound effects to suggest such hits when the camera was recording the bridge action.
I take the pylon hit back. Instead, I think it's possible a hit went to the starboard nacelle. Watching the episode again (original FX), there appears to be the initial hit (off screen), 4 to 5 hits visible from the exterior and 2 hits felt on the interior (off screen). The hits we can see on the exterior are spread across the primary hull and on the same vertical band that can be hit is the starboard nacelle. Alternatively, 1 or more of the unseen hits could have went lower and struck the secondary hull.

Timo wrote: View Post
the nacelles/antimatter pods can work just as well.
Can they? It's a bit difficult to see the nacelles as "residing on Deck 11" or even "featuring Deck 11"...
Depends on where Deck 11 is defined Deck 10/11 could be in the secondary hull to accommodate Kirk's cabin on Deck 12 (which would not fit in the neck or the bottom of the primary hull). If you want to tie them all together, it could be interpreted as "hits along decks 10 and 11 on the top of the secondary caused a sympathetic vibration that translated through the warp pylons to the antimatter nacelles causing minor buckling."

I still prefer to think that Spock was listing separate damage items since he doesn't really connect them together in his report.

Timo wrote: View Post
"The Savage Curtain", "The Doomsday Machine", "That Which Survives" points to evidence that there is a continuous presence of antimatter in the nacelles.
"DDM" speaks of antimatter in "warp drive pods", and the oddity of its absence from there. Could be the pods hooked up to the warp drive, somewhere deep in the bowels of the engineering hull just like in TNG; not necessarily a nacelle reference at all.
"Somehow the antimatter in the warp drive pods has been deactivated."
Sounds more like they were speaking off the oddity that the antimatter in the pods were "deactivated", not "absent". In any case, Warp Drive Pods sound like a propulsion part. What you're describing sounds like an Antimatter Storage Pod, or perhaps a Warp Core Pod where no "Driving" is involved.

Timo wrote: View Post
Furthermore, visuals establish really extensive damage to the nacelles, making it a bit unlikely that a special report would be needed on the availability of antimatter in there!
The caps of the nacelles and aft part of the starboard nacelle showed damage but the central part and attachment points to the pylons appear to intact. It just seems prudent to verify where all the volatile fuel might be.

Timo wrote: View Post
"That Which Survives" shows that antimatter comes to contact with matter in the engineering hull, in a reaction chamber that is specifically spoken of in definite singular ("the bypass valve on the m/am reaction chamber"). The "matter-antimatter engines" of that episode thus seem to do all their annihilating outside the nacelles - unless we
SULU: The Enterprise must have blown up. That would explain the high radiation readings, wouldn't it, Captain? If the matter - antimatter engines...
Sulu appears to be talking about a catastrophic explosion in the engines (multiple) which would exclude a single reactor. A multiple reactor setup, like a single one in the engineering hull that creates the antimatter fuel (with the help of the dilithium) that is pumped to the M/AM engines in the nacelles could then cause a situation where too much antimatter is being created and sent to the engines. And the engines would be a point where explosion(s) can occur.

Timo wrote: View Post
speculate that the nacelle annihilation does not involve any "chambers", which may dovetail into the afterburner idea.
I'd like to think of them as not "afterburners" since they are not providing additional thrust but providing all of the thrust. More like the "engines" are the nacelle reactors and the the engineering hull reactor is the magic regenerating fuel pump.

Timo wrote: View Post
"The Savage Curtain" disproves my earlier claim that exploding nacelles would never have been a threat, tho.

But if m/am is almost at "red zone", apparently losing containment ("shielding is breaking down"), what good will it do to disengage nacelles (Kirk's first preference) without jettisoning them (his second one)?
It's an interesting choice of words. Does Kirk mean, "disengage the nacelles (to separate the M/AM that is in the red zone from the ship's fuel lines to engineering hull's M/AM fuel)" "and if the jettison system still works, use that to help get the nacelles far away from you when they blow up".

Timo wrote: View Post
We might read the order "Disengage nacelles, jettison if possible" as involving two steps of fighting the menace of a containment failure in the secondary hull warp drive fuel pods. First, since the ship has lost power, is on battery power only, and apparently for that reason is going to lose containment shielding in four hours and will go kaboom, it would be a good idea to limit all other energy drainage to a minimum - that is, disengage the warp nacelles that normally are the biggest drain. In addition to that, the antimatter is to be jettisoned - from the secondary hull.
That doesn't make sense if the engineering hull's M/AM fuel was in danger, right? Ejecting the nacelles buy no extra energy savings (if we follow your thinking that the nacelles have no M/AM in them) since we're told that the warp engines are out of power.

Timo wrote: View Post
I could see jettisoning of internal fuel pods becoming "impossible" in certain situations, but why would there be uncertainty about the possibility of jettisoning the nacelles dangling on the pylons?
The batteries might not be tied to the nacelle jettison system or the jettison system is independent of the ship's power systems and they are affected by the aliens.
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Old October 6 2011, 08:30 AM   #129
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Instead, I think it's possible a hit went to the starboard nacelle.
Agreed with the analysis. It's just quite satisfactory to think that the Klingons, counting on surprise to carry the day when their ship clearly wasn't capable of inflicting much damage nor surviving return fire (a decloaking Raptor?), would have concentrated their fire, and that this would jibe with the idea of antimatter torp launchers around the Deck 10-11 area.

Now, let's assume the ship gets a few hits on the warp nacelles. Does "buckling of antimatter pods" mean the nacelles got dented? Wouldn't there be all sorts of other machinery in the nacelles that would receive damage, too? I mean, we aren't supposed to think of the warp nacelles as literally being "antimatter pods" here, now are we, regardless of whether antimatter pods are located in the nacelles?

It does appear IMHO as if Spock speaks of antimatter pods within the ship (be it nacelles, saucer, neck or secondary hull), not establishing the formal name of the nacelles as being "antimatter pods". If your copilot told you your S-3A got hit on the turbine blade pods, instead of engine pods, that'd be mighty odd even if damage to turbine blades were the only technologically important thing about the hit.

Deck 10/11 could be in the secondary hull to accommodate Kirk's cabin on Deck 12 (which would not fit in the neck or the bottom of the primary hull).
Actually, the deck containing Kirk's cabin in "Mudd's Women" is never seen. All we see is the cabin itself (or actually a set corner that supposedly lies close to the cabin, and then the very rear of the cabin set), and this could in fact fit inside the neck.

The Memory Alpha reference to Kirk residing on Deck 12 in "Conscience of the King" appears to be in error: there's no dialogue reference there, and his doorsign says "3F 121" which would fit with a Deck 3 location as in ST2:TWoK, and would (largely) match the set - not to mention keep up the proud tradition of officer accommodation in the ship's superstructure. Or the letter could be the key, and the cabin is on Deck 6, with the set matching the location exactly. Or then the first two digits give the deck after all.

The somewhat ambiguous Deck 12 reference in "The Enemy Within" is to Janice Rand's quarters (3C 46, which might mean doubly Deck 3, or then Deck 4), again without views of the corridors around them.

Add to this that there never is a piece of dialogue establishing directly that Kirk has a cabin on Deck 12. In one episode, Spock takes a turbolift to that deck to reach Kirk, who has commanded the XO to bring Mudd to his cabin ASAP. In the other, Geological Technician Fisher tries to report an altercation at Rand's cabin by identifying himself and saying "Deck 12, Section-" before being cut off. And that's all.

So... We could rather easily argue that Kirk lived on Deck 12 during the first few episodes (perhaps while the ship was being repaired after "Where No Man" damage), but that "Conscience" marked a move to the eventual Deck 3 location (with another brief move to Deck 5 when the Babel delegates took over Kirk's regular cabin, in the style of the "Elaan of Troyius" takeover of Uhura's).

Or we could argue that Kirk always lived on Deck 3, and that Spock in "Mudd's Women" had to make a two-stage trip to that deck because the ship in this second regular ep was still recovering from "Where No Man" troubles and whatever additional problems "Corbomite" had brought, without the benefit of a starbase visit. Or because, despite the ASAP orders, Mudd and his cargo did have to go through some sort of security check first.

In any case, there's no particular reason why Deck 11 couldn't be the lowest deck of the saucer, and indeed later sources give it as such even if some earlier Jeffries sketches indicate fewer decks. And when Spock reports "blast damage", that more or less yells for a clarification of what was damaged - to which "minor buckling of antimatter pods" is a good answer.

Sulu appears to be talking about a catastrophic explosion in the engines (multiple) which would exclude a single reactor.
Umm, I don't agree. "Engines" is plural basically by default, but nothing in the wording indicates two explosions. Rather, the matter/antimatter engines feature a component that could explode and give the radiation readings - namely, the powerplant, whose location is unknown but may quite well be distant from the engines themselves (just like propellers and boilers are very, very separate on reciprocating or turbine steamships).

That doesn't make sense if the engineering hull's M/AM fuel was in danger, right? Ejecting the nacelles buy no extra energy savings (if we follow your thinking that the nacelles have no M/AM in them) since we're told that the warp engines are out of power.
I meant that the nacelles would not get ejected at all. Rather, the nacelles would be deactivated, since they may well drain power even if they give nothing in return - the power status is given as "antimatter in danger, only batteries give power", without any separate assessment of what the warp engines are doing besides being hungry for power.

The antimatter would be jettisoned if possible (and TNG shows how this rather often fails, which is no wonder if one is ejecting individual elements of a complex plumbing system instead of severing entire sections of the ship). The nacelles would stay.

Timo Saloniemi

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Old October 7 2011, 08:41 PM   #130
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
Newtype... re: the "power source," well... I think you're missing what I said.
I didn't miss it at all, I simply disagree on your interpretation. I think the point source of usable energy--i.e. BY THE REST OF THE SHIP--is some sort of power tap in the nacelles themselves. It could be something fancifully technobabblish like an electroplasma converter, but for all we know the nacelles are simply taking the gamma rays from matter/antimatter reaction and using it to run an ordinary steam turbine. Either way, the source of usable power is the nacelles primarily.

You can still get power from a secondary source (impulse power) even if the dilithium crystals are totally gone. It also seems possible you can use impulse power to run the warp engines somehow, though it is never made clear how this works. So in the analogy, the dilithium chamber would be the fission reactor core, generating antimatter (superheated water) that is sent to the antimatter pods (heat exchangers) which in turn transfers the fuel at slightly higher energies and pressures to the actual engines (generators). Power can be extracted at THAT point and can be either used to run the engines (motors) or by weapons, shields and deflectors (a railgun and a laser-based CIWS).

But you notice in this setup that you can still run the generators even in the event of a reactor scram; nuclear powered surface vessels have diesel engines or gas turbines that can kick in for exactly that type of situation, although their power output is less than a tenth that of the nuclear reactors. That is, possibly, exactly what is happening in Elaan of Troyus after all; the dilithium reactor is shut down and Enterprise is trying to run its main space drive AND its shields using only the power of its fusion reactors.

Corporal-Captain,

Fair enough... you're right, I'm reading in a LITTLE bit. But we do know that dilithium has an atomic number, which means its an element, not a molecule.
How about "hydrogen, deuterium, tritium"? With "dilithium" being an extremely rare form of lithium that has twice the normal number of neutrons and thus a higher atomic number?

The alternative to "inconsistent storytelling" requires us to look at this practically. Dilithium crystals are the source of power... or more correctly, "power we can use to run the ship."
And yet the alternate theory still fits the scenario: dilithium is merely the first point in a power train that ends in the warp nacelles and from which the rest of the ship's systems can draw their energy. Without dilithium you have to substitute a fusion reactor to provide that energy, and fusion reactors aren't nearly as powerful as matter/antimatter reactions.

It's important to keep in mind, though, that fusion power and matter/antimatter reactions only have a few products in common, particularly ionizing radiation and charged particles. If dilithium is required to convert THAT product into useable energy, then it would be required for the fusion reactors as well. That's why I'm convinced its role is at the OTHER end of the power train, at the production of antimatter in the first place, and that the same power conversion technology that gets power from matter/antimatter reactions also works for fusion reactors.

They, and the "energizer" (I've come to believe that the "cathedral of tubes" is what's called the energizer in TOS) make up the equivalent of the turbine-and-generator system in a modern fission power plant, while the m/am reactor is the equivalent of the fission reactor in a modern fission power plant.
Possibly. If that's the case, though, then the power train analogy is more "Reactor to heat exchanger to turbine to shaft" with the generators geared up to a parallel shaft.

diamond to carbon and "di-oxygen" to atomic oxygen? These are two utterly different concepts. One discusses a crystal-lattice structure, the other discusses a molecule.
AFAIK, the crystal lattice structure in diamonds IS a molecular property, not unlike the long chain bonds in, say, carbon nanotubes or fullerines. It's kind of a single molecule on a macroscopic scale.

But suddenly I'm wondering if "dilithium" isn't a portmanteau of "diamond-lithium"?
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Old October 7 2011, 09:06 PM   #131
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Timo wrote: View Post
That doesn't make sense if the engineering hull's M/AM fuel was in danger, right? Ejecting the nacelles buy no extra energy savings (if we follow your thinking that the nacelles have no M/AM in them) since we're told that the warp engines are out of power.
I meant that the nacelles would not get ejected at all. Rather, the nacelles would be deactivated, since they may well drain power even if they give nothing in return - the power status is given as "antimatter in danger, only batteries give power", without any separate assessment of what the warp engines are doing besides being hungry for power.
In context, Kirk is clearly talking about separating dead weight and "blasting out of there with the main section." It's not a matter of deactivating the nacelles or getting rid of the antimatter (of which he makes no mention) at all.
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Old October 7 2011, 09:52 PM   #132
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Re: TOS Nacelles

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Corporal-Captain,

Fair enough... you're right, I'm reading in a LITTLE bit. But we do know that dilithium has an atomic number, which means its an element, not a molecule.
How about "hydrogen, deuterium, tritium"? With "dilithium" being an extremely rare form of lithium that has twice the normal number of neutrons and thus a higher atomic number?
A point of terminology: atomic number is the number of protons in a nucleus, and so hydrogen, deuterium, and tritium all have the same atomic number, of 1. Mass number is what differentiates isotopes. The mass numbers of hydrogen, deuterium, and tritium are respectively 1, 2, and 3.

The atomic number of lithium is 3. The Wikipedia catalogs a variety of isotopes of lithium, with cited references, most of them unstable.

As far as I know, the idea that lithium is an unusual isotope of lithium is a new proposal. It might possibly be non-canonical, but it is an interesting idea, nonetheless. If this idea were correct, then the atomic number of dilithium would be 3.

But suddenly I'm wondering if "dilithium" isn't a portmanteau of "diamond-lithium"?
That would be interesting. Unfortunately, I can't comment on whether that was how the term was coined, or not.

---

With respect to the history of trilithium, the earliest reference I recall reading is in the book Spock, Messiah!, by Cogswell & Spano, published in 1976. This early original novel is of course non-canonical, and I don't remember whether it specified any details of trilithium (it's been over 30 years since I read it!).
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Old October 7 2011, 10:10 PM   #133
Cary L. Brown
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Yeah, Newtype, you're clearly misunderstanding what I was saying, because you're using logic which is central to my own argument as though it's an argument against my position.
I think the point source of usable energy--i.e. BY THE REST OF THE SHIP--is some sort of power tap in the nacelles themselves. It could be something fancifully technobabblish like an electroplasma converter, but for all we know the nacelles are simply taking the gamma rays from matter/antimatter reaction and using it to run an ordinary steam turbine. Either way, the source of usable power is the nacelles primarily.
Which is pretty much exactly my point as well. So why you're using that as an "argument against me" is... odd.
You can still get power from a secondary source (impulse power) even if the dilithium crystals are totally gone.
Okay, then.... this one point is a small bone of contention... insofar as I consider the dilithium to be at the core of what makes the conversion of large amounts of energy from EITHER energy source into USEABLE energy possible.
It also seems possible you can use impulse power to run the warp engines somehow, though it is never made clear how this works.
Well, yes and no... I do agree with this in part, but I don't personally treat "faster-than-light propulsion" and "warp drive" as synonyms. Instead, I consider "warp drive" to be a subset of a larger category of FTL propulsion systems.

Is it possible to have "warp drive" without dilithium? I think so, but dilithium makes it more practical. And there may be other forms of FTL propulsion which are utterly unrelated to "warp drive" and which don't need dilithium at all.

So we don't disagree here... except insofar as whether we're talking about "FTL drive" in general, or specifically about "warp drive."
So in the analogy, the dilithium chamber would be the fission reactor core, generating antimatter (superheated water) that is sent to the antimatter pods (heat exchangers) which in turn transfers the fuel at slightly higher energies and pressures to the actual engines (generators).
Okay, the analogy doesn't work in that regard, I think. I think I get your point, sort of, but the analogy doesn't really fit. And your idea of what does what in a real-world reactor seems... odd. Antimatter storage pods as "heat exchangers?" There's no parallel there at all. You're confusing functions, I think.
Power can be extracted at THAT point and can be either used to run the engines (motors) or by weapons, shields and deflectors (a railgun and a laser-based CIWS).
At that point, again we're in total agreement.
But you notice in this setup that you can still run the generators even in the event of a reactor scram; nuclear powered surface vessels have diesel engines or gas turbines that can kick in for exactly that type of situation, although their power output is less than a tenth that of the nuclear reactors.
Which is 100% in agreement with my own position.
That is, possibly, exactly what is happening in Elaan of Troyus after all; the dilithium reactor is shut down and Enterprise is trying to run its main space drive AND its shields using only the power of its fusion reactors.
That is very likely, and is in agreement with my own perspective. Prior to installing that little cut-gemstone crystal, they're limited to only a small fraction of the total available energy output, even of the fusion reactors, and would have pretty much no ability to use energy created by m/am annihilation.

The ONLY disagreement we seem to have, other than a few linguistic (but not conceptual) issues, is the role that dilithium plays in this arrangement.
AFAIK, the crystal lattice structure in diamonds IS a molecular property, not unlike the long chain bonds in, say, carbon nanotubes or fullerines. It's kind of a single molecule on a macroscopic scale.
That's untrue. There are really three different forms of bonds which occur. There are metallic bonds, ionic bonds, and covalent bonds.

In the case of ionic bonds, which is what we have in conventional crystaline structures (think salt, the most common example most people are familiar with), you have a "permanent" transfer of an electron from one atom to another atom, and the resultant electrical charge holds the atoms together. In metallic bonds, the atoms lose electrons but these electrons are not bonded to another atom, but rather are "loose" and exist in a sort of "sea of electrons." However, they still show crystaline elements.

Covalent bonds are where you actually have one more electrons in a hard, tied-together, between two adjacent atoms.

Covalent bonds are what make up a molecule. Metallic bonds and ionic bonds do NOT exist within molecules.

It is possible, though not terribly common, to have covalent bonds tieing two or more atoms together and to also have a few electrons transferred to some other atoms or clusters of atoms... so you can have an ionic crystal structure made up of molecules. We see this a lot.

But it is impossible to have metallic bonds in combination with covalent or ionic bonds.

So, when I see stuff in trek about "the molecular structure of metals" it makes me CRINGE.

And your statement about a crystal being a "really big molecule" is also entirely incorrect.
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Old October 7 2011, 10:39 PM   #134
Captain Robert April
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Re: TOS Nacelles

Is that Nessie I just saw swim by?
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Old October 8 2011, 03:32 AM   #135
Albertese
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Re: TOS Nacelles

SCIENCE!
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