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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science and Technology

Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old July 20 2014, 02:25 AM   #1
GentlemanBob
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Location: Walla Walla Area WA
Science FACT vs Science Fiction

I was just curious how much science fact went into the science fiction of the Star Trek's? Is some or any of the principles practical and plausible? For example the food replicators. How could they ever carry enough raw materials to suit all of the dietary differences aboard ship? You can't make something from nothing, so is the food simply chemicals that TASTE like the spices and seasonings in the recipes? At least Voyager had an actual kitchen. I was in the Army so I have eaten K rations. They are far better tasting than in wars past, however even they were still real food. I would be interested in what some of you more Trek Tech savvy individuals have to say.
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Old July 20 2014, 02:40 AM   #2
T'Girl
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

The show mentioned dark matter when it was still a relatively new idea and not part of the general public awareness.

The replicator is a good idea for people in a isolated (or semi-isolated) situation. The 1000 plus people on the Enterprise Dee are going to be eating over a million meals a year, carrying or growing that much food on board would be difficult or time consuming. Figure in a possible multi-year mission and it gets to be ridiculous.

As long as the food was nutritious and didn't taste too bad it would work.

The shows technical advisers said the replicated food and drink could be recycled at about 88% recovery, so while the base material would slowly run out, it would take time.



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Old July 20 2014, 05:45 AM   #3
Captain Nebula
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

The Original Series had consultants from NASA and JPL to try to keep it realistic.
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Old July 20 2014, 10:45 AM   #4
Maurice
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

Very little. They play a good game of using current lingo to make things sound plausible or thought out, but much of the science on all the shows is rubbish. The transporter is a fantasy contraption. The way they frequently treat DNA is nonsense. Chronotrometric and many other made-up particles are effectively magic invented to do something specific.
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Old July 20 2014, 02:31 PM   #5
Spider
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

And there's the problem of FTL in any science fiction, let alone Star Trek. We'll have to discover new laws of physics for that.
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Old July 20 2014, 07:02 PM   #6
T'Girl
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

Maurice wrote: View Post
but much of the science on all the shows is rubbish
It's a few centuries in the future, plenty of time for many of today's cherished scientific theories to be disproven and all new (half assed) theories to be adoringly embrace by the scientific community.

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Old July 20 2014, 08:28 PM   #7
publiusr
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

Now I learned the difference between star-systems and galaxies from trek, how it took a long time to get the Kelvins to Andromeda, etc. They got that and consumer electronics right (flip-phone inspired by the communicator).

When I was younger, I somehow knew that the electronics would be available before the level of spaceflight.

These two books will help
http://www.amazon.com/Science-Fictio...nce+fiction%22
http://www.amazon.com/Science-Fictio...nce+fiction%22

One of the things I've noted recently is that some sci-fi tropes are do-able--but only in small scale. "Tractor beams" "solid light" Quantum something or other.

It seems that some of that Saturday morning cartoon stuff might be real after all--but it is only good for computer chips.

Rats!
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Old July 21 2014, 03:49 AM   #8
Maurice
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
but much of the science on all the shows is rubbish
It's a few centuries in the future, plenty of time for many of today's cherished scientific theories to be disproven and all new (half assed) theories to be adoringly embrace by the scientific community.

As the topic is "Science FACT vs Science Fiction" we can only operate from what is known right now. "It might be possible in the future" basically dismisses anything that seems non-factual to modern eyes, doesn't it? "It's ALL factual (maybe) because future!" isn't a compelling argument.
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Old July 23 2014, 08:27 AM   #9
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
but much of the science on all the shows is rubbish
It's a few centuries in the future, plenty of time for many of today's cherished scientific theories to be disproven and all new (half assed) theories to be adoringly embrace by the scientific community.

Which, while true, doesn't change the fact that 99% of the science in Star Trek is fictional and not at all fact-based.
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Old July 23 2014, 04:05 PM   #10
DarthTom
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

GentlemanBob wrote: View Post
I was just curious how much science fact went into the science fiction of the Star Trek's? Is some or any of the principles practical and plausible? For example the food replicators. How could they ever carry enough raw materials to suit all of the dietary differences aboard ship? You can't make something from nothing, so is the food simply chemicals that TASTE like the spices and seasonings in the recipes? At least Voyager had an actual kitchen. I was in the Army so I have eaten K rations. They are far better tasting than in wars past, however even they were still real food. I would be interested in what some of you more Trek Tech savvy individuals have to say.
While food replicators as seen on Trek likely will never be a reality - we have something today that comes some what close - 3d printers. In fact, NASA is sending a 3d printer for testing to the ISS
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Old July 23 2014, 06:06 PM   #11
Timewalker
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

I read one of Peter Nicholls' SF encyclopedias. Apparently Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) died many years ago, of a drug overdose. So I guess it was an imposter who was in the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who episode last year as the Curator...
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Old July 25 2014, 07:47 PM   #12
publiusr
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Re: Science FACT vs Science Fiction

Oops!
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