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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 August 3 2012, 08:46 PM   #1
MikeS
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Impulse speed and physics

If impulse speed is sub-light, with half impulse being half the speed of light and full impulse being as near to the speed of light as possible, how do starships compensate for relativistic effects?

Ie; if the Enterprise travels from Wolf 359 to the Sol system at full impulse, why isn't the Earth they arrive at 80(?) years into their future?
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Old August 3 2012, 09:01 PM   #2
Knight Templar
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

MikeS wrote: View Post
If impulse speed is sub-light, with half impulse being half the speed of light and full impulse being as near to the speed of light as possible, how do starships compensate for relativistic effects?

Ie; if the Enterprise travels from Wolf 359 to the Sol system at full impulse, why isn't the Earth they arrive at 80(?) years into their future?
The Enterprise traveled from Wolf-359 to Sol at warp speed.

While not considered definitive, IIRC technical manuals have stated that at full impulse a starship travels at 1/3rd the speed of light.
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Old August 3 2012, 09:03 PM   #3
Ronald Held
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

Maybe this should go in the Trek Tech section. Perhaps merged with similar threads?
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Old August 3 2012, 09:08 PM   #4
Timo
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

Seconded.

While not considered definitive, IIRC technical manuals have stated that at full impulse a starship travels at 1/3rd the speed of light.
Urban myth! The TNG manual says that operations below .25c are common (as time dilation at those speeds isn't much of an issue yet), but also mentions high impulse operations at .75c or higher, and never establishes any sort of a speed limit, and never claims that "full" or "half" would in any way be related to speed. They're probably just power settings... More power gives you high speed faster, less power gives you high speed slower.

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Old August 3 2012, 09:22 PM   #5
MikeS
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
MikeS wrote: View Post
Ie; if the Enterprise travels from Wolf 359 to the Sol system at full impulse, why isn't the Earth they arrive at 80(?) years into their future?
The Enterprise traveled from Wolf-359 to Sol at warp speed.
I didn't intend to refer to anything that has happened "on-screen", I was merely using that hypothetical journey as an example of what I meant.
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Old August 3 2012, 09:25 PM   #6
MikeS
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
Maybe this should go in the Trek Tech section. Perhaps merged with similar threads?
Sorry, I hadn't seen that forum. If I had I would have posed the question there. Kind of explains why this forum is full of threads such as "who is the best" and "what does Plomeek soup taste like?" type threads. Was just trying to raise the level of debate.
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Old August 3 2012, 11:44 PM   #7
Count Zero
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

I'm moving this to Trek Tech. Grab onto something!
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Old August 4 2012, 03:01 PM   #8
Forbin
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

Count Zero wrote: View Post
I'm moving this to Trek Tech. Grab onto something!
WOAH! Jeez, warn us sooner next time, I spilled my raktajino!
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Old August 4 2012, 07:35 PM   #9
Ronald Held
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

need better inertial damping.
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Old August 6 2012, 03:25 AM   #10
Saturn0660
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

Knight Templar wrote: View Post

While not considered definitive, IIRC technical manuals have stated that at full impulse a starship travels at 1/3rd the speed of light.
NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!! That is NOT what it says. It says normal impulse is kept to .25 of light. It never says anything about that being "full impulse".
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Old August 6 2012, 11:05 AM   #11
Timo
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

...Although I wouldn't wonder if some older manual, perhaps a FASA RPG one, established such a speed limit. I mean, it's physically misguided, it's canonically unfounded, but it sort of makes dramatic sense to keep "impulse" and "warp" safely separated by such a limitation.

I don't remember any manual mentioning that 1/3 c limit, though.

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Old August 6 2012, 06:53 PM   #12
Ronald Held
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

I recall it being 1/4 c, which I suppose mean you keep the engines at full power until you reach that speed and throttle them down?
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Old August 7 2012, 06:50 AM   #13
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

MikeS wrote: View Post
If impulse speed is sub-light, with half impulse being half the speed of light and full impulse being as near to the speed of light as possible, how do starships compensate for relativistic effects?
Mathematically, the effect is only observed when the ship is moving; it disappears and when the ship comes to a stop.

In universe, of course, "half impulse" is by no means half the speed of light. Space ships don't work that way, and even if they did, starships have covered tremendous distances at impulse power that would require FTL drive necessarily. In which case, "Half impulse" is probably a thrust setting and not a definite speed.
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Old August 7 2012, 09:53 PM   #14
TiberiusMaximus
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

Isn't the usual phrase something like "full impulse power" and not "full impulse speed?"
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Old August 8 2012, 08:05 AM   #15
Timo
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Re: Impulse speed and physics

I guess the most common form is simply "full impulse" or "one-quarter impulse" or whatnot, whereas AFAIK the phrase "full impulse speed" or "one-quarter impulse speed" is never heard in aired Trek nor printed in the modern tech manuals.

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