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Old May 17 2012, 06:56 PM   #1
Ronald Held
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Correct Physics in Trek

In which TV or movie was there an example of correct Physics(in our universe) as we know it today?
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Old May 17 2012, 06:59 PM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

TNG "Booby Trap", using the gravitational field of an object (asteriod) to increase the speed of a spacecraft (Ent-D).
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Old May 18 2012, 02:57 AM   #3
Knight Templar
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

MacLeod wrote: View Post
TNG "Booby Trap", using the gravitational field of an object (asteriod) to increase the speed of a spacecraft (Ent-D).
Though the principle was correct, there is absolutely no chance the asteroids the size shown in the episode (several hundred meters in diameter, a couple of kilometers at most) would've had enough gravity to be a significant velocity boost to the Enterprise.

Even asteroids hundreds of miles in diameter like Ceres have neglible gravity.

Most of the asteroids in "Booby Trap" look about the size of Deimos, the smaller moon of Mars.

On Deimos, I've read the gravity is so low that a person can reach escape velocity by jumping.
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Old May 18 2012, 03:46 AM   #4
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

Well, it would work if you just change the gravity constant of the universe.
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Old May 18 2012, 06:26 AM   #5
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

sojourner wrote: View Post
Well, it would work if you just change the gravity constant of the universe.
What?
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Old May 18 2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

I think sojourner is quoting Q from Deja Q. If I remember correctly, this is a possible solution that Q1 posed to Chief Engineer LaForge for stopping a moon from impacting a planet.
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Old May 18 2012, 01:27 PM   #7
Knight Templar
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

sojourner wrote: View Post
Well, it would work if you just change the gravity constant of the universe.
Lots of things would work if you could do that.
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Old May 18 2012, 07:59 PM   #8
Ronald Held
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

With those asteroids, if they are not moving with respect to the CM of the cluster, you could only change the direction of the Enterprise's velocity. If the asteroid was moving then you could gain some energy with the apppropriate maneuver.
What actually happened in the episode?
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Old May 18 2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Well, it would work if you just change the gravity constant of the universe.
What?
CHANGE THE GRAVITATIONAL CONSTANT OF THE UNIVERSE!!!
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Old May 19 2012, 01:40 AM   #10
Ronald Held
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

Anything else in 10 movies and 5 series?
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Old May 19 2012, 07:47 AM   #11
MauriceNavidad
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

Well, in TMP the Enterprise uses maneuvering thrusters to leave the drydock, which means that the ship is changing its angular momentum in relation to the dock, so the ship either leaves the dock behind or slows down its own orbit enough that the dock pulls away from it.

The Enterprise also zings by Jupiter close enough that one can imagine its a slingshot maneuver. Voyager 1 passed only 348890 km from the center of Jupiter (277,540 km from it's "surface"), which is considerably closer than the Moon from Earth, and from that distance Jupiter would look about like it did in TMP size-wise. I dunno if it's realistic for such a slingshot to help at "warp point five" impulse power, but clearly someone did their homework.

Likewise, someone did the math to figure out how long it would take the Enterprise to get to Jupiter, because the time from launch right after the flyby is given as 1.8 hours. At its farthest from Earth, Jupiter is about 3,220 light seconds away, or about 54 light minutes distance. At half light speed, it's 108 minutes away. 108 minutes = 1.8 hours. Ergo, if Jupiter were its maximum distance from Earth when the Enterprise launched, at half light speed the ship would get there in exactly the 1.8 hours Kirk cites, which is too on-the-nose to be an accident.
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Old May 19 2012, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

^what would be more impressive is if that is accurate as to where Jupiter will be in that year relative to Earth in that year.
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Old May 19 2012, 12:44 PM   #13
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

MacLeod wrote: View Post
^what would be more impressive is if that is accurate as to where Jupiter will be in that year relative to Earth in that year.
When TMP was made they didn't have a specific year in mind, so that's rather impossible.
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Old May 19 2012, 06:29 PM   #14
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

Maurice wrote: View Post
Well, in TMP the Enterprise uses maneuvering thrusters to leave the drydock, which means that the ship is changing its angular momentum in relation to the dock, so the ship either leaves the dock behind or slows down its own orbit enough that the dock pulls away from it.
Actually, simple relative motion applies on a scale this small; Enterprise could maneuver relative to spacedock as if both were motionless in space. For those kinds of small maneuvers, for anything above about 1000km orbit it'll take several hours for the differences in their orbits to become apparent.
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Old May 19 2012, 06:44 PM   #15
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Re: Correct Physics in Trek

MacLeod wrote: View Post
^what would be more impressive is if that is accurate as to where Jupiter will be in that year relative to Earth in that year.
Where was Jupiter in the movie? I mean, apart from "inside the solar system" which is about as specific as it gets, otherwise its position was never really defined.

Also, I clearly recall that the estimates for Enterprise' speed were based on the closest and farthest positions of jupiter from Earth, so depending on the position Enterprise was either moving at .25C (the purported "full impulse power" of starships) or .5C (as in "warp point five").
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