Full impulse to Warp 1

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Crewman47, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Crewman47

    Crewman47 Commodore Newbie

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    IN TMP we first heard the speed Warp .5 being used which would probably be half the speed of light. As full impulse is one quarter light speed and warp .5 is half lightspeed is there something used to describe these speeds, like do they have a name, or are they simply given as a percentage of lightspeed?

    Also what are the relativistic effects at these speeds and do they initaiate a warp field?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I categorically deny the "full impulse is 0.25c" claim.

    Full impulse is just full throttle on the impulse engines. And 0.25c is the supposed Starfleet speed limit for impulse travel, even though this is never mentioned on screen. The two aren't the same, although one might want to use the former to quickly achieve the latter.

    I'm not convinced that warp 0.5 is half lightspeed, either, although it does seem that warp 1 is full lightspeed. The scale isn't linear above warp 1, so why should it be linear below it?

    I also trust that somehow the use of warp engines "negates all relativistic concerns", even though this of course is impossible in the universe as we know it. Relativity is not dependent on travel methods, it's built into the structure of the universe. It's a bit like claiming that the use of a specific type of jet engine makes the sun rise over London's Heathrow or New York's LaGuardia at a different time than if a propeller engine were used... Utter nonsense. But apparently, the Star Trek universe differs from our own in this respect, and Einstein was dead wrong in that universe. So possibly some sort of a fancy time dilation effect plagues impulse travel in Trek, even though it is not related to Einsteinian spacetime. Or then there are no relativistic effects in the Trek universe whatsoever.

    I might also argue that the use of warp engines below warp 1 is very inefficient and that impulse engines do that job much better. But Kirk wanted to test his recently installed warp engines in ST:TMP, so he ordered them to be used at settings below warp 1. Or at least that would explain why we never ever hear of warp factors below 1 again...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command

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    I thought the "warp point whatever" orders represented a slow powering up of the warp reactor, representing incremental increases toward the crucial level of the power equivalent necessary to get the ship to warp factor oneā€”the trial by fire for the Enterprise's fancy new swirl-chamber warp reactor. Propulsive warp fields below warp factor one may indeed be inefficient as the TNG Technical Manual suggests, but I agree with Timo that they are likely to partially or fully isolate the ship from undesirable relativistic effects.
     
  4. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ignoring anything about warp for a moment, if you're looking for relativistic effects, you'll want to take a look at the Lorentz factor for time dilation, length contraction, and relativistic mass.
     
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That is for Special Relativity. With even at sublight speed, there appear to be warp fields at work, so those relations are not going to hold. Also include the IDF.
     
  6. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't Warp .5 equal to .125C?

    Anyway, I do think that they use the warp fields (even if not using warp drive) for relativity issues for anything past .25C or so. Just seems like it would solve a whole lot of issues. (Such as their crew turning into jelly by suddenly going insanely high space-normal speeds.)
     
  7. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Umm, yeah, that would work, apparently - having the universe be a fundamentally Newtonian single-frame setup underneath, and thus having warp drive and subspace comms follow those rules. There could exist a well-defined "now" for all planets in the galaxy simultaneously, then, despite the contrary appearances.

    It's not quite "the universe as we know it", of course...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's a lot about the universe that we don't know, of course. For example, what is the explanation for quantum entanglement -- is there some "subspace" through which everything is connected?

    I don't think his notion of "special frames" is that far out, given the possible extent of what we don't see, can't test and thus can't quite understand.
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The evidence for warp .5 is right on the screen in TMP. Kirk's orders and Captain's logs make it plain.

    Kirk's first Captain's log occurs after the ship flies by Jupiter and in it he says, "...1.8 hours from launch...", during which time the ship has been traveling warp .5.

    At its farthest from Earth, Jupiter is about 3,220 light seconds away, or about 54 light minutes distance. At half light speed, it's 108 minutes away. 108 minutes = 1.8 hours. Ergo, if Jupiter were its maximum distance from Earth when the Enterprise launched, at half lightspeed the ship would get there in exactly the 1.8 hours Kirk cites, which is too on-the-nose to be an accident.

    But, for the sake of argument... At closest approach, Jupiter is 1972 seconds/32.87 minutes away at light speed. To over that distance in 1.8 hours at warp .5 would put the ship at .30c (just shy of 1/3rd light speed).

    So, is TMP is any guide, warp .5 is somewhere between 30% and 50% of light speed, with 50% being the more likely intention.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  11. Bonzo the Fifth

    Bonzo the Fifth Commander Red Shirt

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    Part of the problem (I think... my physics is a little rusty) is that it's not exactly clear on whether things like 0.25c are referring to velocities or accelerations.... In theory, ANYTHING can get infinitesimally close to the speed of light, if it can maintain the slightest bit of positive acceleration and survive micro-meteoroid collisions.... (and given enough time, of course). On Earth, you have several resistances that keep you from, for example, infinitely accelerating your car by just keeping the gas pedal down. Air and ground resistance eventually prove greater than the capacity for your engine to work against, and thus you have a 'maximum velocity'.

    In space, you have none of that... At sufficient velocities, of course, even the diffuse gas and dust of space can induce significant drag (and impact damage), but for the most part, you can accelerate with impunity, since there's little else to slow you back down.

    So while there's an upper limit on acceleration due to mechanical limits, there's not really an upper limit to velocity, other than the speed of light, of course, due to Relativity.


    All this is basically a roundabout way for me to say that any kind of 'speed limit' in space to me sounds monumentally stupid, at least, insofar as one might try to express it mechanically or scientifically, as opposed to legally.

    There's no good reason, given the existence of deflector dishes in the ST universe, that any starship couldn't go infinitely close to the speed of light if they wanted to. The thing I've never understood is why there aren't more time dilation issues from overusing the impulse drives...

    So I've never really understood what this 0,25c limit is even supposed to mean, much less how it's supposed to be possible.
     
  12. GodThingFormerly

    GodThingFormerly A Different Kind of Asshole

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    Relativistic mass dilation reduces engine efficiency as the spacecraft approaches c, as an increasing fraction of the energy expended will go to increasing the vehicle's mass as opposed to increasing its velocity (because, obviously, the heavier an object the harder it is to push).

    TGT
     
  13. Bonzo the Fifth

    Bonzo the Fifth Commander Red Shirt

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    Of course, but that just means acceleration will slow down and get infinitely smaller, but not reach 0, just as mass increases, but doesn't become infinite, length diminishes, but doesn't become nothing, and time slows down, but doesn't stop.
     
  14. GodThingFormerly

    GodThingFormerly A Different Kind of Asshole

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    But a starship's impulse engine fuel/reaction mass supply is finite, even in the 24th century.

    TGT
     
  15. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    I'm leary about introducing special relativity concepts like mass dilation into a situation involving acceleration, which falls under general relativity. So, while the mass issue may have some impact, at least according to an outside observer, I'm pretty sure that it's the time dilation that 'slows down' acceleration.

    I could be mis-remembering; it's been a while since I've studied relativity, but I distinctly remember mass dilation being incidental in situations like this, not causal.
     
  16. SoM

    SoM Commander Red Shirt

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    It's supposed to be to keep time dilation to manageable levels, IIRC.

    How it's possible... that's another story entirely...
     
  17. Bonzo the Fifth

    Bonzo the Fifth Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, obviously...

    I'm just speaking theoretically... I mean, in theory, anything can reach Warp 10, too, it's just a matter of having access to an infinite supply of energy... I'm just saying that, mechanically speaking, there's nothing stopping them from getting very close to c using impulse engines and that a 'speed limit' is just so much crap.
     
  18. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    simple energy computations are going to be disappointing. what is the energy rating for the impulse engines and how much deuterium does the 1701 carry? Then can it get up to .25c within seconds?
     

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