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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old September 5 2008, 07:17 PM   #1
Lorraine Anderson
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Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

The book Kobayashi Maru noted a piece of equipment being a flux capacitor. Is this an actual scientific piece of equipment, or does Doc Brown from "Back to the Future" predate Zefram Cochrane? If so, where's Marty McFly?
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Old September 5 2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

The term "flux capacitor" originated with BTTF, but it's been alluded to in many other works of mass-media SF since then, including TNG's "Hollow Pursuits" and DS9's "What You Leave Behind."

It's always struck me as something of an oxymoron, since "flux" means flow, but the charge in a capacitor isn't flowing, it's being stored in one place. But now that I think about it, I'm wondering if Doc Brown's flux capacitor could be something that made use of the Casimir effect arising from vacuum fluctuations between the capacitor plates, thereby achieving a negative-energy effect and allowing the creation of a spacetime wormhole. Still technobabble, but maybe not the contradiction in terms that it seems.
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Old September 5 2008, 08:18 PM   #3
Marco Palmieri
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

Doesn't the prop actually appear in the cockpit of the Phoenix? Or did I imagine that?

I know the Oscillation Overthruster from Buckaroo Banzai showed up as a desk ornament in one of ENT's Terra Prime epsiodes. And I'm pretty sure it's pictured somewhere in one of the editions of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, as a gag.
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Old September 5 2008, 08:20 PM   #4
Allyn Gibson
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

As a lot of people know, I was a store manager for EB Games for seven years, beginning about a decade ago.

When I started with the company, most of our stores were called "Electronics Boutique." It's not obvious from the name what the store sold -- we sold video games, but it wasn't uncommon to receive phone calls about other electronic devices.

One day, someone called up looking for capacitors.

He sounded old, in his sixties. He had a harsh, raspy voice. "Do you sell capacitors?"

I could have said no. Because we didn't. However, I'm puckish, so... "We do, actually. Not many, though, because we don't have much call for them."

"What do you have?"

"We have a flux capacitor. It's rated for 1.21 gigawatts."

He sounded excited by the news. He said he'd come right over.

If he did, I never saw him.
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Old September 5 2008, 08:31 PM   #5
Dimesdan
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
As a lot of people know, I was a store manager for EB Games for seven years, beginning about a decade ago.

When I started with the company, most of our stores were called "Electronics Boutique." It's not obvious from the name what the store sold -- we sold video games, but it wasn't uncommon to receive phone calls about other electronic devices.

One day, someone called up looking for capacitors.

He sounded old, in his sixties. He had a harsh, raspy voice. "Do you sell capacitors?"

I could have said no. Because we didn't. However, I'm puckish, so... "We do, actually. Not many, though, because we don't have much call for them."

"What do you have?"

"We have a flux capacitor. It's rated for 1.21 gigawatts."

He sounded excited by the news. He said he'd come right over.

If he did, I never saw him.
I remember EB, they were all sold/bought out a few years ago by Game if I remember rightly.
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Old September 5 2008, 08:37 PM   #6
captcalhoun
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

yeah, they were
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Old September 5 2008, 09:02 PM   #7
Lorraine Anderson
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

I keep thinking that if they did have Emmett Brown's flux capacitor, that would be a pretty handy way to get around the FTL problem...
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Old September 5 2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

^^What, you mean spend ten years travelling at sublight to another star system, then go back in time ten years? Not sure how practical that is...
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Old September 5 2008, 09:10 PM   #9
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

If you own a DeLorean, there are custom "flux capacitor" kits you can install in them.

Don't know if they actually work or not ...

--Ted
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Old September 5 2008, 09:20 PM   #10
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

TG Theodore wrote: View Post
If you own a DeLorean, there are custom "flux capacitor" kits you can install in them.

Don't know if they actually work or not ...

--Ted
awwwwwwww the DeLorean, apart from the crazed religious zealot, Belfast's greatest export since Titanic
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Old September 5 2008, 09:55 PM   #11
Dayton Ward
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

I actually saw a DeLorean the other day, toolin' down the road. No flux capacitor, no Mr. Fusion, or even snappy white-walls, tho.....
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Old September 5 2008, 10:11 PM   #12
LightningStorm
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
I actually saw a DeLorean the other day, toolin' down the road. No flux capacitor, no Mr. Fusion, or even snappy white-walls, tho.....
Ha! I see that thing about twice a year. Usually near the AMC 30 in Olathe.
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Old September 5 2008, 10:23 PM   #13
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
I actually saw a DeLorean the other day, toolin' down the road. No flux capacitor, no Mr. Fusion, or even snappy white-walls, tho.....
Was up in seattle last St. Patrick's Day weekend, and there were at least a dozen Delorenas in the parade they were having in downtown.

Didn't see evidence of flux capacitors, nor were any "Mr. Fusion" devices mounted on the rears of the vehicles.

No oscillation overthrusters, either.
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Old September 5 2008, 10:24 PM   #14
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

I thought it was just an inside joke.
I really would want to own a Mr Fusion, or at least understand the theory and engineering of how it worked.
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Old September 5 2008, 10:31 PM   #15
Dayton Ward
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Re: Flux capacitor in Trek lit - Good ol' Doc Brown?

LightningStorm wrote: View Post
Ha! I see that thing about twice a year. Usually near the AMC 30 in Olathe.
This was in Lee's Summit, and it happened so fast I didn't think to check the license plate, but how many of those things can there be around here?
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