chemical elements

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Hando, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

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    I was looking at the Periodic table at Memory Beta. Alright, it is from the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual. A such it is quite old and probably out-of-date.

    Now I have some questions:

    1. What other elements appearer in Star Trek, be it on-screen or off, that are missing?

    2. Are those elements consistent with our present day knowledge? Like Dilithium (119) being a crystal and so on...

    3. And perhaps, what should be changed so the Periodic table becomes accurate? Relatively speaking.


    Please leave the Periodic table from TNG Rascals with its jokes out of here. :techman:
     
  2. zDarby

    zDarby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I took a cusery glance at it. From what I can tell, it doesn't have any data accurate to this universe after about element 110. So info on 111 and onwards is probably made up. And info from element 119 and up is definately made up, as we've only been able to make up to 118 and it doesn't last long enough to make much study of it. There's expected to be an "island of stability" at around 114 where you can get isotopes that don't instantly decay to nothing --or so I'd read. But AFAIK that hasn't been confirmed. Also AFIAK numbers larger than that are expected to continue the trend of instant decay. Which is to say, it's expected that elements larger that 114 or so will not be stable enough to make anything out of them, which is currently the case for anything over about 100, I think, though I am not sure on that.

    However, while looking into nuclear isomers I learned there are examples of very unstable elements being excited to high energy states with very difficult transition paths. Which is to say, the get up a state they don't like climbing down from. Thus, these meta-stable isomers remain stable for several orders of magnetude longer than at the ground state. Hasnium, I think is the prime example. So I could imagine a time where very heavy elements are manufactured and then are rapidly energized into a isomer state of long duration to be used as a building material. Industrial replicators would make this process easier. Of course, woe to any person or machine near any such object if it decides to "go to ground", as it were, all at once! It's Vaporization Time! :rommie:

    Also, I have read that there is theoretical evidence that atomic elements over 125 or so may be impossible, as the speed at which an inner electron would have to orbit such a nucleus would surpass the speed of light. Of course, that's with modern understanding, which is incomplete, at best.

    However, I never bought that "dilithium" was a made up of a heavy element. Some of the recon explanations are cool and I could see how it might be possible, but I never bought them... especially after watching someone carrying a tray of dilithium crystal the size of a cat around in their hands. Plutonium is too heavy for that AFAIK. Let alone some super heavy element!
     
  3. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    I figure dilithium is a second-stage element - it's an isotope of Lithium with a subspace component. Trititanium is Titanium with a subspace quark in it's makeup. Tritanium is an alloy of titanium and trititanium, since Trititanium is too expensive to use for the whole hull. Duranium is second-stage iron.
     
  4. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's important to note that the term ``island of stability'' means stability relative to the surrounding elements. If it should prove to exist, then, it's a couple of elements which, most likely, have isotopes which take whole minutes to spontaneously decay. This is considerably more stable than the neighbors, which in that area will decay with a half-life of milliseconds. But it's not the sort of stability that's of much obvious use for anything besides confirming models of nuclear particle interactions.
     
  5. zDarby

    zDarby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Absolutely!

    I didn't make that obvious in my post. Sorry.

    However, it still *might* be possible to get a stable isomer in these huge nuclei. I don't know enough to really make that prediction....But it's within the realm of possibility and would be really cool if it were true! ...Not entirely sure what it would be good for... But it'd be cool!

    What do you mean by "second stage"? I don't know this speculation.

    My own speculation --and it's a recent one I've not spent much time thinking about it or its consequences-- is that "dilithium" is a very stable chemical state where two lithium atoms are chemically bound by their inner electrons. Which is to say, the two electrons in the inner s-orbit of regular lithium are somehow forced to orbit two lithium nuclei at the same time. The left-over duo of outer electrons are then free for more conventional chemical bonds. And it is with these outer electrons that "dilithium" can be forced to crystallize, a crystal with some interesting properties.

    I would then speculate that "trilithium" and "tritanium" are elemental triplets sharing internal electrons. In the former case, very unstably; in the latter, rather stably.

    This kind of inner-electron sharing has just started to be explored in the "real world". Right now such chemical bonds are literally created by bombarding a target with chemicals travelling at a significant percentage of the speed of light. And everything I've read indicates they're rather unstable, as of yet... It's called "Metastable Innershell Molecular State" so at the moment they're not thought of as "stable". But it's a fascinating field of study with so much promise!

    "Duranium" has a historic definition as alloy of aluminium, if I remember correctly. Of course, that may well change after a few hundred years.
     
  6. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Reread Prime Directive by the Reeves-Stevens. Second-stage matter is mentioned as matter having a subspace component. That's not well-defined in the novel, so my guess is that the same subatomic particles make them up, but the quarks may be stranger than normal.
     
  7. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  8. vulcan redshirt

    vulcan redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks for that link, it's amazing what science can bring up.

    That Reeves-Stevens book, is that the one where it is theorised that latinum is either gold or silver, but with the subspace component?, or was that just a fan theory I have picked up somewhere?

    And also, bit of theorising here, but would 'element having subspace component' imply something like tachyonic matter, for example, in place of some or all of the electrons orbiting a nucleus?
     
  9. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Prime Directive preceded the mention of latinum, I believe. As for what the subspace component would be, I'd think it'd have to make sense so it doesn't show up as too outre, or the whole "1/4 of the quartz in the world is really dilithium" angle wouldn't work.
     

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