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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

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

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Old July 9 2012, 11:53 AM   #1
Bry_Sinclair
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Phasing

In "Pegasus" it was revealed that Starfleet was working on a phased cloaking device. The cloaking aspect of this was outlawed under the Treaty of Algeron (I believe), but the phasing part wasn't. So why didn't Starfleet try developing this technology? The fleet could be visible but able to pass through matter, seems like a neat trick to me.
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Old July 9 2012, 02:43 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: Phasing

I don't see any evidence for the ability to remain visible while phased...

Indeed, visibility means electromagnetic interaction. But solid walls also consist primarily (indeed, almost solely) of electromagnetic interaction. If you're visible, you really shouldn't be able to go through a solid wall.

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Old July 9 2012, 04:21 PM   #3
Deks
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Re: Phasing

Well... in the two parter episode when the Enterprise-D crew went after the life sucking aliens in the past, the crew had to phase shift in order to interact with space-time in that frequency.
I think that the aliens themselves were invisible at first until the crew shifted - same thing happened with Geordi La Forge and Ro Laren in 'The next phase'.

I cannot recall if there was a case of phase shifting that had the crew or an object visible while in phase.

I was actually a little confused with an application of a phase cloak though since you become invisible anyway... but it may demonstrate as plausible in case an enemy ship figures out your phase frequency... but cannot get a target lock because they would have to penetrate the cloak.
Sort of like a double protection... both from the space-time continuum you previously occupied and visually shrouded in the new space-time
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Old July 9 2012, 04:32 PM   #4
Timo
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Re: Phasing

There's fun consistency across all the cases where "phasing" is applied in Trek. Be it an alien transdimensional device, a cloaking system, the transporter, or the phaser, the effect is the same: the target is made invisible and indeed nonexistent in our realm, in a puff of pure magic that doesn't seem to leave behind even a blast of heat.

Perhaps phasing always follows the vague definition or description from "Time's Arrow" and possibly "Timescape": that the subject/victim is moved a tad into the future or the past, possibly falling between the cracks of quantized time? Things phase-shifted forward in time would be invisible because their images would not yet exist when we were viewing them; from their point of view, though, our reality would be visible, even if through a slight delay. This we witness in most of the cases: a person inside a phase-cloak effect, a transporter beam, a Starfleet phase adjustment device of "Timescape" or the alien phase-shifter from "Time's Arrow" can observe the surroundings but the surroundings cannot observe him or her...

One wonders if people who get hit by a make-'em-disappear phaser beam of TOS style are actually shifted in one piece to a hellish limbo where they can continue observing the world of the mortals! Until they suffocate or starve, that is.

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Old July 10 2012, 04:55 AM   #5
SWHouston
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Re: Phasing

The Cloaking technology has bee available since TOS, Kirk and Spock stoled it from the Romulans. That, phasing, and NUMEROUS technologies have been encountered by our hero's, with ALL of it being dumped into the trash, along with Transwarp.
It seems as though the Writers just couldn't make the Ships and Personnel vulnerable enough, where they would allow them at least a modicum of equality.
I'm a died in the wool Trecker, but, I got SO fed up with every time someone blinked, the Shields, Engines, Com, and just about everything else except the Gravity Plating, and very infrequently Life Support failed, over and over and over. And, they'd probably have let the Gravity fail as well, if they could have found a cheep way to float the actors around the set.
Come on, even the stupidest plot knows when to pick up a bigger stick.
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Old July 10 2012, 08:30 PM   #6
Timo
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Re: Phasing

What possible reason could we have for believing that the sticks did not get bigger as the Trek pseudohistory moved forward?

If Klingon disruptors hurt Starfleet shields in TOS and go on doing so in TNG, the unlikely explanation is that neither of these evolved. The likely explanation is that both grew stronger, maintaining the balance. Similarly, warp may have gotten faster, too (although since everything moves at plot speed, it's near-impossible to tell).

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Old July 11 2012, 05:27 PM   #7
Deks
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Re: Phasing

In terms of Klingons weapons vs SF shields... well, given that their alliance lasted for about 80 years before going on a year long (or was it 2 years long?) hiatus in DS9, I would surmise there was some kind of collaboration between the two in regards to technological development.

The relatively minor advancements we saw from TOS to TNGare basically byproducts of bad writing.
Collaboration yields far better results than competition in any case, and I guess the writers retained the outdated mentality that accelerated tech development only stems from wars (which is plain and simple baloney - it does imply revisions of existing technologies mostly in terms of defense/offense, but nothing 'earth shattering' because humanity experienced large leaps in tech development in real life without wars as well - especially during collaborative efforts).
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Old July 11 2012, 06:17 PM   #8
Timo
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Re: Phasing

What makes the advancements "minor"?

We don't get any qualitative information on anything except perhaps the warp factors, and that's contradictory anyway. Weapon power is undetermined - in ship-to-ship, it's undeterminable, even. Transporters do weirder things in TNG era than in TOS era. Sensors pick up things they didn't pick up in TOS, mainly because there are more lines to be impregnated with technobabble than before.

Would the difference between the 19th and 20th centuries really be more noticeable than the difference between these fictional 23rd and 24th?

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Old July 11 2012, 06:19 PM   #9
SWHouston
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Re: Phasing

You both make very good points, though the term "balance" gives me pause. I don't think SF has ever been to that point, and commonly loose out to those who only have Bows and Arrows. But, our hearts so easily go out to the underdogs.

There's always been an implication that SF Ships were junk, and or the Engineering Staff were total incompetents in not being able to keep things online, save for some ingenuity with Duck Tape and Bailing Wire, to eck out a save in the nick of time.

I litterly have risen out of my chair, cheering, when I herd Warp 13 called, and seeing a hole blown through a Klingon Ship the size of a Volkswagen. I just get sick seeing our Hero's getting beat up again and again.

And, they had the absolute gall to fire Maxwell, and Pressman
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Old July 12 2012, 07:16 AM   #10
Deks
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Re: Phasing

Timo wrote: View Post
What makes the advancements "minor"?

We don't get any qualitative information on anything except perhaps the warp factors, and that's contradictory anyway. Weapon power is undetermined - in ship-to-ship, it's undeterminable, even. Transporters do weirder things in TNG era than in TOS era. Sensors pick up things they didn't pick up in TOS, mainly because there are more lines to be impregnated with technobabble than before.

Would the difference between the 19th and 20th centuries really be more noticeable than the difference between these fictional 23rd and 24th?

Timo Saloniemi
Put it like this... the difference between the 1940's a and 2012 in real life is effectively 72 years... for TOS vs TNG, its 75 (at least to the Dyson Sphere episode) which is close enough... even though we had plethora of technologies available to make big changes in the early 20th century (for example creating material abundance for every person on the planet from landfills and switching over fully to geothermal power in 1911 - both of which would need about a decade or so, and making vertical take-off and landing aircraft controlled via electrodynamic means (also noiseless), while from the 1950-ies onward using solar, wind, wave and tidal in such quantities that together they form loads of energy we wouldn't even know what to do with, along with mag-lev trains from 1974, space based solar power since 1985, etc., etc., etc. ), but things are basically the same apart from having Internet, more powerful computers (outdated as they are with persistent use of silicon as a base material instead of others that were viable since 1997) and revised cars (EV's could have easily been used since 1990's on mass).
Problems in real life are related to the notions of profits/money which inhibit our technological development (high efficiency and designing things that last and can be easily updated would kill profits because the current system requires cyclical consumption/planned obsolescence in order to keep the money flowing continuously resulting in products that last a small amount of time, cannot be upgraded, are revised at best even though we could be seeing huge leaps)... whereas in Trek, the writers wanted to stick to an outdated mentality... redressing TOS and making minor improvements here and there, essentially sticking to the notion of relative stagnation with little changes - even Geordi mentioned to Scotty that the technologies used in TNG are not that different from the TOS ones - impulse engines being one, Warp speeds being revised and faster (albeit if TOS and movies would have us think specifically, the Feds essentially regressed backwards severely) - essentially, the basic technologies are still alive and well - in improved form. Did we suddenly forget that the Federation has the brain power of 150 different planetary cultures, doesn't use money and is mostly motivated by the notions of self-improvement? Well, humans are, but this mentality would probably spread very fast among UFP members once they see how efficient it is.

Transwarp seems to have been conveniently kicked into the curb (and Warp was already fast enough to transport The Enterprise-A thousands of lightyears to the galactic core. Heck, the Warp in early TNG was also very fast (faster than Kirk's... but it was reduced in power/efficiency by the time Voyager rolled out).
People often say that Roddenberry was a nutjob for wanting to implement his own original ideas into TNG (exploring other galaxies instead of the Milky way), and then of course much more liberal social life in terms of sex and other things - I say that people are a bit limited for shunning his ideas (which were more in line with exponential increase in technology - but American TV...).

There has been a much larger tech development in Trek since the WW3 era to Archer's time - such as humans catching up to the Vulcans (or getting very close to them) in mere 90 years... then they probably closed this gap by the time the Federation was founded, and post Federation creation (with Tellarites, Andorians and Vulcans collaborating with Humans)... the explosion of ideas, technologies, etc. would have been orders of magnitude higher than ever before, and kept increasing with new races coming into the mix by working together.
In short, Trek was severely gimped because they wanted to keep the show 'relate-able' - which in my opinion is completely absurd as Trek was initially trying to challenge preconceived/established notions that happened in real-life.
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Old July 13 2012, 12:03 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: Phasing

Did we suddenly forget that the Federation has the brain power of 150 different planetary cultures, doesn't use money and is mostly motivated by the notions of self-improvement?
...The thing is, some early TOS ideas notwithstanding, the Federation has been around for quite some time now. Quite possibly TOS level tech is the very best it can do? Like you say, it has the potential for immense progress - but all of this potential might well have been used up in the first few decades of cooperation, after which the parties would need three or four centuries to really understand what the others have and how to properly mesh it together for further progress.

Indeed, Earth between WWIII and ENT would probably develop fast both because it was catching up to the "galactic plateau level" (and not really inventing anything new) and because it was doing this without being hindered by interstellar cooperation and its horrid inertia.

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