Can you transport anti-matter?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by t_smitts, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I see transporting as like this.
    * A transportee is transported out of the conventional universe
    * A transportee travels through a subspace corridor
    * A transportee reenters the conventional universe

    (On a transporter console aboard the Enterprise-D, there are controls for the subspace field compensation. See here - http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x06/wherenoone_hd_018.jpg)

    I feel there are safeguards on at least one of the 'portals', which is used to weed out biological contaminants. or to disable weapons. As long as the cargo is secured, there is no danger to the crew or to the ship.
     
  2. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This thread title makes me wonder how Scotty might describe a particularly inept crewmember ...

    "Couldn't transport antimatter in a bucket."

    :lol:
     
  3. DRACO

    DRACO Captain Captain

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    Both matter and anti-matter contain positive and negative charges. The difference is that their positions are reversed.

    Positrons are anti-matter and Data's brain is positronic and he can be beamed so yes... you can.

    However Data isn't completely anti-matter and this is a good question.

    In short, it would depend on how the transporter is set up. You can transport antimatter but if you have a containment field or any thing so charged that it could be an issue, you may need to inverse your polarity or otherwise change the charge.

    Though, it is the configuration between matter and antimater that does it, they come together like an equation. It isn't like an electron exposed to a positve charge will explode. So it is more complicated than that. The similar structure causes loss of cohesion.

    This is a good thing and probably why we don't see more anti-proton and anti-matter weapons used against shields.
     
  4. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One would think so, however, since transporters are essentially energy beams, it is a matter of aligning frequencies so that the beam penetrates the opposing vessel shields.

    Also, strength of the shields matters as well... if the transporter beam is stronger than the shields, then you can beam through them as if they aren't even there.

    If you recall from 'Unimatrix Zero', all it took was a shield fluctuation on the Borg Tactical cube which allowed the Delta Flyer to align its transporters and get the away team onboard - conceivably while the shields were up.

    Arguably, one could say that shield dropping was much faster, but I doubt the crew of the ship would want to risk dropping shields in the middle of a fire-fight (especially with Borg in the fight given the prospect of assimilation).

    Well, consider the following, phasers are directed energy weapons, and they seem to pass through the ship's shields.
    Now, this can be done in a few ways:
    1. phasers are aligned with the shields enough to allow energy being emitted from the ship
    2. a small hole forms in the shields on the spot where the phaser energy needs to go through (incidentally, in early season of Voyager, in order to get the away team in the Vidiian underground complex and through their forcefields, the crew found tiny holes in the field [microscopic ones] which were wide enough to allow transporter beam to go through.

    I think frequency changing is more reliable as it prevents potential problems from the opposing ship exploiting micro holes formed in the shields to transport something.

    But yeah, we have examples of armed photon torpedoes being transported onto enemy ships.

    Still why transporter inhibitors aren't a standard practice onboard SF ships is a mystery - then again, ships can easily emit their own plethora of dampening fields that could easily disrupt most transporters.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This seldom seems to work - but is this because the thing the heroes or villains want transporter has to survive the trip, which is a step that can be skipped in "weaponization"?

    We could easily argue that phasers are weaponized transporters which skip the safety measures, turn the knobs to eleven, and deliberately "malfunction" at the destination. Phasers and transporters have a great many similarities, after all: both utilize the "phasing" phenomenon, both are hindered by shields, both make victims disappear, and both can move stuff from A to B (VOY "Macrocosm" shows ordinary phaser sidearms being used as handheld transporters).

    Perhaps so; we don't really know. Many advanced villains can ignore the shields of our heroes when transporting, but the exact nature of their superiority is never established.

    Given how delicate the transporting process generally seems to be, trying to penetrate shields by increasing power could be like trying to break the thick oak tree by swinging your glass axe harder...

    The simplest probably being that shields are one-way.

    We never explicitly heard of two-way shields, after all. And phasers and torpedoes doget out but do not get in. And transporters seem to get out easily enough in "A Taste of Armageddon", even when dialogue just established they can't get in and other dialogue established that shields in that adventure cannot be dropped even for an instant.

    Well, if shields fail, hostile transporting is the least of the ship's worries...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They did it in "Obsession", so yes.

    No. Antimatter is basically just normal with its charges reversed. The sub-atomic structure is roughly the same; an antiproton is made of the same three quarks as a proton, just the quarks have their spins reversed so the antiproton has a negative instead of a positive charge.
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've been saying for a while now that transporters probably use some kind of quantum tunneling trick to make the wave function of a particular object collapse between two arbitrary locations at either end of the transporter beam. In this case, the "beam" is a synthetic quantum tunnel and "distance" is the barrier being crossed. Basically, it's like folding space on subatomic scales.

    Transporters basically do this by precisely calculating how "thick" the barrier is they need to tunnel through. The deeper the tunnel, the farther you will be beamed. So a beam that will deposit a payload 40,000km away in a vacuum might materialize you 200km away when beaming through an atmosphere and solid rock.

    Shields would reduce that range even further; the beam that would materialize you on the other side of the moon might instead deposit your body 20 inches inside of the other ship's shield barrier. If he's using bubble shields, that's a really interesting way to die; if he's using conformal skin-tight shields, you'll wind up embedded in the wall of the Captain's ready room.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TLDR

    Antimatter was transported in the TAS episode one of our planet's is missing.
     
  9. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Since the transporter converts matter to energy and back again, it should be possible to convert matter to energy and then back to anti-matter? Perhaps this is the very process starships use to generate their anti-matter fuel supply?
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    That's a great observation.

    But maybe in the Trek-verse, it takes more energy to make the conversion than you'd get out. After all, there's information in the transporter beam about whether the subject is matter or antimatter, so perhaps to make the conversion, you'd have to substantially change the contents of the beam and expend a lot of energy doing so.

    Unlike photons, the particles composing transporter beams might not even be their own antiparticles. Maybe transporting antimatter involves manipulation of anti-transporter beams that have to be carefully separated from regular transporter beams.

    That said, regeneration of the antimatter supply is a process named in TAS: "One of Our Planets Is Missing." Dialog suggested that existing antimatter is a catalyst in the process of making more, provided at least two anti-kilos are in the regeneration chamber.

    You gotta wonder whether any fixed amount of antimatter that the ship would be equipped with on leaving space dock would be enough for the ship to do all the fantastic things that we've seen it do, possibly short of the antimatter supply being ridiculously dense and massive, like say carrying a substantial chunk of a white dwarf or neutron star made of antimatter around in the bowels of the secondary hull, but maybe even in that case too. Regeneration could solve that problem. And it might also make Bussard collectors all the more important, not only to scoop up matter to use for total conversion, but also to be collecting matter to convert to antimatter, via this magical process of regeneration.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Voyager beamed a photon torpedo into a Borg ship once.
     
  12. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is pretty much my take on it, at least until someone blows a hole in the theory with some obscure factoid from the TOS/TAS episode dialog. ;)

    Seems like I recall participating in another thread where the TAS "two anti-Kilos" was mentioned in the context of A-M reserves used to regenerate the engines?

    But Anywho, there seems to be no problem transporting A-M in the trek-verse.
     
  13. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ooops, double post. Sorry.
     
  14. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    From memory books like the TNG technical manial did have some info on how ships generate anti-matter. I think the conversion ration was 15:1 15 units of matter were expended to create 1 unit of anti-matter.
     
  15. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Even that would be an awesome ratio! Just park next to a gas giant, suck in what you needed and run the generator til the tanks were full!
     
  16. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reminds me of something from "Spaceballs".
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, remember that Kirk moments before considered it "Incredible!" that the antimatter villi of the space beast would regenerate after annihilation. And it was that very antimatter that he wanted to put in the engines in hopes of achieving regeneration. So, possibly an ability specific to this adventure and to the exotic material available to the heroes?

    Sure, they also spoke of a "regenerating chamber" as already being a component in their engine. But perhaps they just renamed that on the fly after concocting this plan of using the amazing regenerating antimatter?

    Then again, they also spoke of "matter engines" vs. "antimatter engines". Perhaps they were a bit too animated that day to be taken seriously?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Using the terminology "engine" instead of "nacelle" as they do in this episode is actually quite useful, as it allows our heroes' dialogue to refer to parts of the machinery that are specifically NOT the Warp Nacelles. After all, "engine" really only means a collection of moving parts!

    If the reaction takes place within the nacelle, then it is conceivable that each one has its own "matter engine" and "antimatter engine".
    Regenerate the port nacelle, and the surplass energy can be syphoned off to regenerate the starboard nacelle, which in turn leads to full power recovery, as Scott states in the episode
    What could be simpler than that? :-)

    My only question now is why they needed to beam a piece of the planet remnant on board to serve as the "matter" part of the reaction. What the planet made of solid deuterium or something?!?
     
  19. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree, the part about “matter and anti-matter engines” being regenerated is probably just a bit of rotten fruit we should leave unpicked from the TAS cherry tree.

    However, that the engines can be regenerated is well supported by multiple references in both TOS and TAS, so I’m not inclined to dismiss it too quickly.

    Also, that the “engines” are associated with the nacelles is well established not only onscreen, but going all the way back to Matt Jefferies himself when he said in an interview…

    “I was concerned about the design of ship that Gene told me would have warp drive,” says Jefferies. “I thought, “What the hell is warp drive?” But I gathered that this ship had to have powerful engines—extremely powerful. To me, that meant that they had to be designed away from the body.”

    So again, not something to take lightly, and we also know that the engine/nacelles/pods store antimatter (at least the reserves) so this is one area where TOS/TAS differs from latter trek tech, and I for one do not feel it necessary to retcon this but rather use it as an example of how things change over time, just as in the real world.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed on all points, especially the last one.