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Old May 19 2013, 07:15 PM   #1
stj
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New Treknology Into Darkness

There are some wonderful new ideas in the new movie Into Darkness, are there not? Surely worthy of discussion?

How could a wet suit make a person survive a long fall, then sink effortlessly and then swim unaffected by water pressure. Particularly without visible helmets.

How can a hand-held devise pump massive quantities of heat from equally massive quantities of lava, without generating more heat as required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

How can the phrase "cold fusion" be reconciled as somehow referring to the previous?

What power source could be in a ring sufficient to create the explosion in London? Could enough antimatter be inside the containment ring?

How can we reconcile the notion of warp drive with any determinate "speed" with the travel times in the movie?

Why can't the Klingons detect the vessel when it's leaving, after a patrol disappears, that they couldn't detect when it arrived?

How can the Enterprise be bigger on the inside than the outside?

How can concrete floors be a useful spaceship construction material?

How can we justify the enormous empty spaces inside the Enterprise?

How did the Federation abolish Newton's First Law of Motion, so that people who fall off rails [i]in a free falling spaceship[/] would immediately fall even faster even though the Earth's gravitational field is unchanged?

Lastly, why would the Federation design a ship so that the crew could fall to its death?
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Old May 19 2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

stj wrote: View Post
How could a wet suit make a person survive a long fall, then sink effortlessly and then swim unaffected by water pressure. Particularly without visible helmets.
Life support belts included, just without the visible-wavelength glow?

Although feet-first falling from up to fifty meters might well be survivable anyway; the planet might have reduced gravity (since it's always portrayed by one gee anyway); and the suits might have the fairly mundane functionality of going rigid at impacts, making for good surface-piercing.

Also, no particular reason a wet suit ought to be buoyant - it's not likely to be made of neoprene in the future any more. And why should water pressure be an issue? How deep did they go?

How can a hand-held devise pump massive quantities of heat from equally massive quantities of lava, without generating more heat as required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
That's standard fare for treknology anyway, dumping of energy or momentum somewhere unseen. Transporters ought to make that a breeze - or more exactly, those bits in the transporters that are used for dumping momentum when one comes up from a planet and into an orbiting starship. Those bits are probably smaller than the actual transporters (save, of course, for the miracle machines of this particular movie...).

How can the phrase "cold fusion" be reconciled as somehow referring to the previous?
Most nuclear fusion consumes energy; if a means exists for shoveling heat "upstream", then storing it into nuclear fusion might be as good a technique as any.

What power source could be in a ring sufficient to create the explosion in London? Could enough antimatter be inside the containment ring?
Trek antimatter, sure (see "Obsession"). Otherwise, it's probably a conduit for energies coming from somewhere else.

How can we reconcile the notion of warp drive with any determinate "speed" with the travel times in the movie?
No bloody idea.

Why can't the Klingons detect the vessel when it's leaving, after a patrol disappears, that they couldn't detect when it arrived?
You appear to mean "why can"..? Might be its stealth isn't quite omnidirectional, or degrades with time, or Klingon sensors simply adapt to threats, deciding that what looked like a sensor echo can now be determined to be an enemy.

How can the Enterprise be bigger on the inside than the outside?
What need is there for that when the thing is already about five miles long on the outside?

How can concrete floors be a useful spaceship construction material?
...Such as in ST5:TFF?

Why not? Pourable material should be ideal for creating large flat surfaces that don't need to bear major stresses. It would be lightweight, supposedly with lots of bubbles in it, and quickly repairable.

How can we justify the enormous empty spaces inside the Enterprise?
It doesn't cost anything extra to haul empty space along! Okay, hauling the air might cost something, but it's probably not even peanuts in terms of what starships otherwise do.

How did the Federation abolish Newton's First Law of Motion, so that people who fall off rails in a free falling spaceship would immediately fall even faster even though the Earth's gravitational field is unchanged?
Well, starships are full of gravity fields, which always work in free fall. If the ship is plummeting belly first, and you step into, say, the main vertical turboshaft, you should by all rights start falling down the shaft at one gee acceleration, because that's what the starship provides regardless of whether she's falling or not.

If the scene in question involves falling off the ship altogether, then I can only point to the scene in ST:TMP where there's surface gravity atop the saucer. That ought to give you a good start vs. the reference frame of the ship, even if you subsequently start freefalling.

Lastly, why would the Federation design a ship so that the crew could fall to its death?
I guess I'll have to go see the movie after all to answer this pressing question...

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Old May 19 2013, 10:50 PM   #3
F. King Daniel
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

stj wrote: View Post
How can the Enterprise be bigger on the inside than the outside?
It's not. This Enterprise is bigger. They have been telling us this since 2009.


As for the rest... yawn.
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Old May 19 2013, 11:30 PM   #4
Timelord Victorious
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

I think artificial gravity was all over the place during the free fall. If artifical gravity outright failed everybody would have "floated" in... well, free fall... and probably banging there heads but not plummeting to their deaths down the corridors.
Gravity went haywire, not out.
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Old May 20 2013, 02:23 AM   #5
stj
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

King Daniel wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
How can the Enterprise be bigger on the inside than the outside?
It's not. This Enterprise is bigger. They have been telling us this since 2009.


As for the rest... yawn.
The picture window seen from the outside sets the scale and this Enterprise's outside is not bigger than its inside. What they say doesn't count more than what we see.

As for the rest, sorry you were too sleepy to pay attention.

Timo, excellent try, too bad Into Darkness was too much of a popcorn flick to truly merit such ingenuity.

Timelord Victorious, alas, it really seemed more like it was the ship shifting. It really seemed as though Sulu et al. were trying desperately to keep some control of the descent for precisely that reason. Even worse, such radical shift in gravity would threaten the structural integrity of a ship which couldn't even stand salt water.
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Old May 20 2013, 03:13 AM   #6
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

stj wrote: View Post
There are some wonderful new ideas in the new movie Into Darkness, are there not? Surely worthy of discussion?

How could a wet suit make a person survive a long fall, then sink effortlessly and then swim unaffected by water pressure. Particularly without visible helmets.
The same way the away team manages to beam down to alien planets without ever having to pre-breathe the local atmosphere at local pressure and temperature to avoid decompression sickness.

How can a hand-held devise pump massive quantities of heat from equally massive quantities of lava, without generating more heat as required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
How did the Genesis Device do it?

How can the phrase "cold fusion" be reconciled as somehow referring to the previous?
Because that's what it's called in the 23rd century, by which time the 20th century concept of "cold fusion" had been discredited and forgotten.

Likewise: there's Corsairs, and then there's Corsairs.

What power source could be in a ring sufficient to create the explosion in London? Could enough antimatter be inside the containment ring?
Perhaps, but the fact that you have to drop it into a glass of water suggests it was probably a fusion device: the ring extracts hydrogen from the water, collects it and then forces it to fusion.

How can we reconcile the notion of warp drive with any determinate "speed" with the travel times in the movie?
We can't, and I'm not sure we really need to. It's never been solidly confirmed that warp factors HAVE a determinate speed, nor do we have a quote for how fast Enterprise was going when Vengeance caught up with it.

Why can't the Klingons detect the vessel when it's leaving, after a patrol disappears, that they couldn't detect when it arrived?
You sort of answered your own question, didn't you? They can't detect it on the way in, they can't detect it on the way out, but their patrols can detect it if they fly past it while it's there.

How can the Enterprise be bigger on the inside than the outside?
... would have been a really good question if you had asked it in 1979.

How can concrete floors be a useful spaceship construction material?
How can plywood?

How can we justify the enormous empty spaces inside the Enterprise?
... is another good question that deserved an answer in 1979.

How did the Federation abolish Newton's First Law of Motion, so that people who fall off rails [i]in a free falling spaceship[/] would immediately fall even faster even though the Earth's gravitational field is unchanged?
Sorta like this:


It's called centrifugal force. If the ship is tumbling and you are anywhere except at the exact dead center of gravity, you're going for a ride.

Lastly, why would the Federation design a ship so that the crew could fall to its death?
... is yet another good question from 1979.
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Old May 20 2013, 03:22 AM   #7
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

stj wrote: View Post
The picture window seen from the outside sets the scale and this Enterprise's outside is not bigger than its inside. What they say doesn't count more than what we see.
And what we see is a ship about the size of an Ambassador class but with much longer nacelles.

Even worse, such radical shift in gravity would threaten the structural integrity of a ship which couldn't even stand salt water.
It seemed to stand salt water just fine, actually. The paint job, not so much.
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Old May 20 2013, 03:39 AM   #8
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

Yeah, this movie had it's share of dumb Hollywood "science"...

You are forgetting how the shuttles and ships, which have shields and can survive phasers and photon torpedoes and re-entry and the corona's of stars, etc, etc, etc...can't survive the measly heat of a *volcano*!?

Oh, but Spock's *suit* can!?

And how did the people who made "Harrison" 300 years ago have the ability to reverse death - but the Federation doctors 300 years later couldn't!?

And really, they have NO cryonics in the 23rd century at all!? Can't freeze the poor dying girl, just because, as Bones said, they don't need to freeze people because of warp drive!? (Warp drive that Zef discovered in 2069, before there were all that many deep space interstellar voyages anyway?)

Then there's the "transwarp beaming" device (which I assume works like similar to TNG's "subspace transporter"...?) that is the size of a large gym bag, but can disassemble and person and send them light-years across space and reassemble them, with now booth or anything, all that distance away. (I am starting to think that, given all the evidence in Trek history, transporter beams have the property that whatever is taken apart by them, can reassemble itself...like it starts a process that is...self-reversing...!?)

The ring/bomb got me too...but maybe it was antimatter in a container (made of some sort of smart material/smart matter/nano-tech material...?) that dissolved in water...even a microscopic amount of anti-matter would cause an explosion that big.
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Old May 20 2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
... is another good question that deserved an answer in 1979.
In many respects, the 1979 Enterprise was very well designed. I don't recall there being much unused space in the plans and there is at least one thread in Fan Art where people have mapped the interior to get rid of some of the inconsistencies with the original plans. We do also have to remember that Starships need space to carry passengers, equipment, and ships, depending on their mission.

I'm a subscriber to the notion that starships were never designed to land on planets, although saucer sections were designed to do so in an emergency. Voyager could do it but I think she was far smaller and I think that size DOES matter because of the amount of energy required for something that dense to escape a planet's gravity.

The TMP saucer could separate and land in the same way as TNG but without warp power this would be a temporary emergency measure.

I think it was silly to build the ship on Earth and it was silly to land the ship underwater. It was silly to lose warp power, impulse power, emergency batteries and ALL the thrusters in one go.

The writers of this franchise are prone to do things that they think will look cool without really thinking them through, such as wasting an escape pod instead of beaming Kirk to the brig of the outpost so he can meet a monster.
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Old May 20 2013, 09:59 AM   #10
F. King Daniel
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

stj wrote: View Post
King Daniel wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
How can the Enterprise be bigger on the inside than the outside?
It's not. This Enterprise is bigger. They have been telling us this since 2009.


As for the rest... yawn.
The picture window seen from the outside sets the scale and this Enterprise's outside is not bigger than its inside. What they say doesn't count more than what we see.
Indeed the window does establish scale, as seen HERE. Compare with THIS and you can clearly see that this Enterprise is far bigger than the old.
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Old May 20 2013, 03:27 PM   #11
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

You are forgetting how the shuttles and ships, which have shields and can survive phasers and photon torpedoes and re-entry and the corona's of stars, etc, etc, etc...can't survive the measly heat of a *volcano*!?
We don't know whether shuttles at this timepoint have shields, really. TOS shuttles didn't necessarily appear to have any, unless such were specially rigged ("Immunity Syndrome"). STXI shuttles didn't necessarily appear to have any, save for Scotty's very special hot rod. And the ability to take coronal heat was a groundbreaking late 24th century invention in "Suspicions".

(Did ST:ID feature explicit references to shuttle shields, though?)

As for the volcano vs. phaser argument, volcano attacks last indefinitely, while phaser attacks last for seconds at most. Might make all the difference.

Oh, but Spock's *suit* can!?
Did it really outperform the shuttle? Remember that getting into the volcano took ages, and it was only at the conclusion of this that Spock rappelled down to put his suit to the test.

And really, they have NO cryonics in the 23rd century at all!? Can't freeze the poor dying girl, just because, as Bones said, they don't need to freeze people because of warp drive!?
I'd think they would have access to all past technologies; how much delay would be involved in having that access is the big question.

This would appear to be another post-2233 alteration, because all sorts of "stasis" technologies are frequently mentioned in the TNG era again. Or then there was a gap between cryonics going out of fashion and more advanced non-cryonic stasis technologies (such as in VOY "One"), much like there currently is a gap in man's ability to, say, go to the Moon.

I am starting to think that, given all the evidence in Trek history, transporter beams have the property that whatever is taken apart by them, can reassemble itself...like it starts a process that is...self-reversing...!?
Definitely agreed. Think of it as the way the flying fish move. Jump out of the slow medium, glide through the fast one, and return to the original medium is assured at the end. You use a machine to plunge your pattern into phased state, where it can be shot towards a target, and eventually it resurfaces into its more stable, non-phased state, hopefully at the target.

A machine the size of a briefcase doesn't sound implausible as such if it's used at the starting point to plunge Harrison into phased space. If it's used at the destination, then it truly has interstellar range and becomes implausible - but if it places people in phased state and this state then takes care of the rest, it's not really a range issue any more and you don't need to insist on machines the size of large asteroids.

The writers of this franchise are prone to do things that they think will look cool without really thinking them through, such as wasting an escape pod instead of beaming Kirk to the brig of the outpost so he can meet a monster.
Actually, I think they covered that one, more or less - the transporter had just killed Amanda, and might not be high up on the repair list of Olsen's successor.

this Enterprise's outside is not bigger than its inside.
From which it wouldn't seem to follow that its inside should be bigger than its outside...?

Which set are we talking about as being oversized? Even the brewery-based engineering should have fitted into the secondary hull without problems, and I have a hard time imagining Abrams coming up with a bigger set or location...

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Old May 20 2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

Timo wrote: View Post
We don't know whether shuttles at this timepoint have shields, really. TOS shuttles didn't necessarily appear to have any, unless such were specially rigged ("Immunity Syndrome"). STXI shuttles didn't necessarily appear to have any, save for Scotty's very special hot rod. And the ability to take coronal heat was a groundbreaking late 24th century invention in "Suspicions".

(Did ST:ID feature explicit references to shuttle shields, though?)

Think of it as the way the flying fish move. Jump out of the slow medium, glide through the fast one, and return to the original medium is assured at the end. You use a machine to plunge your pattern into phased state, where it can be shot towards a target, and eventually it resurfaces into its more stable, non-phased state, hopefully at the target.

A machine the size of a briefcase doesn't sound implausible as such if it's used at the starting point to plunge Harrison into phased space. If it's used at the destination, then it truly has interstellar range and becomes implausible - but if it places people in phased state and this state then takes care of the rest, it's not really a range issue any more and you don't need to insist on machines the size of large asteroids.

The writers of this franchise are prone to do things that they think will look cool without really thinking them through, such as wasting an escape pod instead of beaming Kirk to the brig of the outpost so he can meet a monster.
Actually, I think they covered that one, more or less - the transporter had just killed Amanda, and might not be high up on the repair list of Olsen's successor.
A Volcanologist did an analysis of the science on Trekmovie.com. Basically entering a planet's atmosphere is typically 500+ degrees hotter than a volcano so the problems suffered by the shuttle were indeed silly. However, they point out that volcanic ash can indeed be problematic so replace heat with ash and the scene works fine.

Well, except that it isn't clear why they can't just scan the volcano's interior and beam a device in with a timer, or why the volcano threatens the planet rather than just the local population, or what the device is actually supposed to do, since capping the volcano will just lead to pressure increasing until the volcano explodes with even greater force. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

The way I interpret transporting is that you are quantum entangling the transportee's molecules and then phasing the individual into a subspace pocket, replacing them with the matter stream, which is the corresponding entangled energy from the subspace pocket (this overcomes the kill and clone argument which Trek has trouble with and can explain Realm of Fear or Thomas Riker).

It is the annular confinement beam that keeps all the qunatum linked energy in the right place. This is necessary because once the beam is switched off, the person automatically phases back and if that happens you really want all your bits in the right place (see TMP). So a transporter is sending quantum linked subspace energy on a subspace carrier wave to the desired co-ordinates.

The problem I have with transwarp beaming is that something has to maintain the confinement beam until you reach the destination. This is why I think the concept works if you use relay stations (like the stargate bridge) within your own space, which would include a receiving pad (just in case one of the relays malfunctioned) but the pad would have to be expecting you to pick up your signal and extend its own confinement beam to meet yours. I can't see how it works if you are beaming into enemy territory without some further explanation.

I understand that TNG featured the technology but I never really saw a satisfactory answer to how it worked. Gary Seven's transport looked a bit different. If you can create a wormhole, you can just step through it but the energy required would be pretty amazing if you are scrunching space instantaneously across light years. That would seem to me to be the bar to this working for Federation level races.

Having said that, scientists acknowledge that warp drive would require more energy than anti-matter could supply. I am willing to hand wave that away if they keep the speeds sensible. If they keep compounding the issue it starts to annoy.

As far as Amanda's death goes, it isn't really a plus in favour of transwarp beaming. It might imply that beaming up requires a localised quantum scanner to help entangle all your atoms and that is much harder if you are not transporting pad to pad. I like that limitation.

It's in a different ball park to beaming across light years though. Planets are moving, space is moving, the sending pad is moving, and from what we know of our own planet, that movement fluctuates depending on our sun and other objects in the vicinity. I still don't see how you can reliably transport to co-ordinates 90 light years away. If you can't scan, not only the landing site, but the movement of the planet in relation to the place from which you are sending before you initiate transport it's pretty much a death sentence.
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Old May 20 2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
A Volcanolosit did an analysis of the science on Trekmovie.com. Basically entering a planet's atmosphere is typically 500+ degrees hotter than a volcano so the problems suffered by the shuttle were indeed silly. However, they point out that volcanic ash can indeed be problematic so replace heat with ash and the scene works fine.
Entering a planet's atmosphere (assuming equivalent to Earth's) is only 500+ degrees hotter if you enter it from orbital speeds, around the order of 17,000 mph relative to the ground. If you enter the atmosphere at a ground speed of near zero, you don't have your hull being cooked from extreme aerodynamic heating. This is also why the ships were falling into the atmosphere - they weren't in orbit, they were pretty much stationary relative to the ground. (And also why the 3 atmospheric divers in ST09 didn't get roasted!)

As for the gym bag transporter, why couldn't it have two parts? The first part initially beams the second part to the destination, then beams the passenger. After the passenger arrives, the second part retrieves the first part from the origin point. I'm sure some fast sequencing on the part of the transporter's computer could make it seem like all one instantaneous event to an outside observer.
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Old May 20 2013, 07:42 PM   #14
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

Gary Seven's transport looked a bit different.
But apparently wasn't, since Kirk's hardware was so inconveniently compatible with it...

The problem I have with transwarp beaming is that something has to maintain the confinement beam until you reach the destination.
It clearly isn't the originating transporter, though, as transportees often rematerialize safely long after this transporter has been destroyed. Sounds like the confinement beam is self-maintaining, until the point where it no longer is, that is.

Well, except that it isn't clear why they can't just scan the volcano's interior and beam a device in with a timer, or why the volcano threatens the planet rather than just the local population, or what the device is actually supposed to do, since capping the volcano will just lead to pressure increasing until the volcano explodes with even greater force. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey.
We have previously seen that transporters have trouble penetrating about two kilometers of ordinary rock. Just add a smidgen of mysterium into the rock and you seriously reduce transporter performance. Not reliable enough for beaming a unique device into place - but reliability ceases to be a concern when it's the only way to extract a fellow officer.

As for what the device is supposed to do, it's probably best kept vague exactly because of what it eventually achieves. But we could well say that a single volcano could destroy the entire civilization of this planet, if a) it's a big volcano and b) it's a small civilization. We've seen those previously, after all; it wouldn't be all that unusual for some alien culture to dump a small number of people on the only habitable island on a waterworld...

As for the gym bag transporter, why couldn't it have two parts?
Clever idea, but we haven't really heard of a rule that would require two ends to a process, or prevent bootstrapping.

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Old May 21 2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

bryce wrote: View Post
Yeah, this movie had it's share of dumb Hollywood "science"...

You are forgetting how the shuttles and ships, which have shields and can survive phasers and photon torpedoes and re-entry and the corona's of stars, etc, etc, etc...can't survive the measly heat of a *volcano*!?
Real spacecraft can survive reentry too, but you probably wouldn't want to land one in the middle of an exploding volcano.

As for the corona of stars, I'm pretty sure that's something that starships and shuttlecraft CAN'T do, which is the whole reason why the 24th century "metaphasic shield" thing was such an important invention.

Oh, but Spock's *suit* can!?
Yes. Because Spock's suit, unlike shuttlecraft, is DESIGNED to do so. Basically, it's the futuristic version of equipment we already have today.

And how did the people who made "Harrison" 300 years ago have the ability to reverse death - but the Federation doctors 300 years later couldn't!?
Of course they could. If the kind of genetic engineering that created Harrison in the first place wasn't illegal just about everywhere.

And really, they have NO cryonics in the 23rd century at all!?
No they don't.

Is that news to you? That's been established since Space Seed aired in 1966. They also won't have any kind of efficient "stasis field" technology until at least half a century later; I have long suspected, in fact, that that was one of the medical technologies they got from the library on Yonada.

Then there's the "transwarp beaming" device (which I assume works like similar to TNG's "subspace transporter"...?)
No, it works EXACTLY like the transporter system Scotty and Kirk used in the first movie, which was installed in his shuttlecraft. Probably a miniaturized version cooked up by Section 31.
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