TOS Nacelles

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Patrickivan, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Incorrect. Energy forms that don't obey the inverse square law are BY DEFINITION directed energy, beams that exhibit coherence and have different attenuation properties. Delta rays, therefore, would definitely obey the inverse square law unless they were emerging from the reactor vessel as a pencil-thin beam with laser-like coherence.

    And if your radiation emissions are that tightly concentrated, shielding them--or even capturing them for energy conversion--should be a pretty simple matter. The only time you get a problem with radiation in that case is if something interrupts the beam and scatters it, in which case you have a radiation shine with standard inverse-square relationships. And this is before you take into account secondary reactions and inefficiencies which means SOME radiation will always be leaking out beyond your ability to contain it.

    In that sense, having the reactor positioned 50 meters away from the hull and on the other side of your external radiation shielding (which is designed to deflect cosmic radiation and and weapons fire anyway) solves this problem nicely.

    Actually, the diesel engine doesn't scorch you because it CONTAINS more of that energy to a smaller area while the searchlight intentionally radiates more of it. The only reason it's producing less waste heat is because more of its output energy is in the form of mechanical torque, and yet it will still burn you if you're sitting directly on top of the engine while it's running.

    We're talking about a matter-antimatter reactoin chamber (warp core) that produces power outputs in the thousands of gigawatts. Even if that reactor is 99% efficient (a thermodynamic impossibility), that means it's producing many hundreds of gigawatts of waste heat that has to be rejected by SOMETHING. That means you're going to have to have one hell of an advanced cooling system for it, because anything that isn't dissipated into the cooling system is going straight into the surrounding environment. Even if the reaction chamber itself manages to absorb 99% of that waste heat, the 1% that gets through adds up to around 100MW of heat.

    That's the equivalent of building a huge bonfire in the middle of your engine room burning five liters of kerosine per second. This isn't an engine room, it's a pizza oven.
     
  2. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Here's where we leave the hard science part behind and enter the realm where we also see how Iron Man's boot jets work and why kryptonite hurts Superman but not ordinary humans.
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    How does "Real Science" explain one ounce of antimatter ripping off half a planet's atmosphere in "Obsession" that adversely affects the Enterprise 30,000km away?

    Or -293 Celsius as a temperature in TNG's "The Royale". Or how phasers and disrupters disintegrate people? :)

    We left hard science the moment "phasers" set to disintegrate and "warp drive" was used. When was Star Trek ever hard science? :D
     
  4. DrBashir

    DrBashir Commander

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    That happens as soon as you bring up warp drive or dilithium.
     
  5. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    One ounce of antimatter is 0.02834952 kilograms. This reacts on a 1:1 basis with matter, so we're talking about a total mass of 0.05669904 kg.

    Ignore the "advanced" elements of the equation, and stick with the simplified elements.. E = m * c^2, with E in joules.

    E = (0.05669904) * (299,792,458 m/s) ^ 2

    or 5,095,855,582,940,597 joules of energy to be released by 1 oz of antimatter in perfect reaction with 1 oz of matter.

    That's the equivalent of 1218 kilotons, or 1.2 megatons.

    Now the object upon which they landed wasn't a "planet," it was a "planetoid." Sometimes also referred to a a "minor planet," this is something in a regular orbit, but too small to be considered an actual planet. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_planet

    So, the one bit in this particular episode I'd question was "why does this little planetoid actually have a dense atmosphere at all? (No "planetoid" will have sufficient gravity to maintain an Earth-type atmosphere... if it had one, it would bleed away into space pretty rapidly.

    So, I have no problem with the idea of a small planetoid losing it's tenuous atmosphere as a result of a 1.2 megaton blast.

    What I DO have a problem with was the crew walking around on the planet without spacesuits.

    Then again... maybe they did have something on... TAS handled this nicely. Perhaps they were wearing "environmental belts" but had their shirts tugged down over them?

    Interestingly, I think that's the best possible explanation for what we see in that episode. (And it's not contradicted by the cloud creature being able to get through a shield... after all, the Enterprise's shields did nothing to block it, and the Enterprise's phasers couldn't touch it, remember?)
    Either they recalibrated the scale or this is just one of these things we get to "mentally retcon" because the writers were clueless science-class dropouts. I definitely go with the latter, rather than the former.
    THIS, I have no problem with whatsover. It's really pretty easy to "disintegrate" organic matter. The main issue I have with what we see in Trek is that there should be a blast of superheated gas when this happens... enough to scorch your eyebrows on the other side of a room, for example.

    On the other hand, if what they're doing is "breaking molecular bonds," in some unknown fashion, well, then this falls into the realm of "magic" and I have no problem with "magic" as long as it doesn't DIRECTLY CONTRADICT real, known science.

    In other words... it's OK to show something entirely made up, as long as it doesn't go against something real which we actually know.
    It's not, of course, but "Science fiction" differentiates from "Fantasy" by virtue of the fact that "Science fiction" extrapolates from what we know, and adds to it, without (intentionally) contradicting what we know. Fantasy disregards what we know and, while it may PLAY with familiar-appearing concepts, ignores real science.

    Star Wars is not science fiction, it is fantasy, albeit cloaked in sci-fi trappings. Star Trek is, at least generally, science fiction. Though, as time went by, the series has strayed further and further from that, and with the last movie, abandoned any pretense of being science fiction at all.
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Small problem though. When was it ever called a "planetoid"? In all the dialogue it has been called a "planet".



    And your answers pretty much indicate that you personally are not willing to let Star Trek evidence supersede your knowledge of "Real Physics" when it comes to your interpretation of Star Trek. (And that's your prerogative :) )

     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Absolutely a boneheaded blunder, in the "Real World". But if we were to be magically transported into the TNG universe that might be a critical bit of information to know about the difference ;)

    Or if we hopped into the TOS universe to know that the Eugenics Wars kicked off in the 1990s. And NASA launched alot more Voyager probes in the 70s. And that we had nuclear weapons platforms orbiting the world in the 60s. :D
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I suppose....

    Now this stuff arises from different issues and would only be boneheaded if they did something like talk about Christopher Columbus discovering America in the 14th century.
     
  10. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    You're correct... my memory was failing me. Here's the whole script:

    http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/47.htm

    So... instead, why not just retcon one word... go from "one ounce" to "one kilogram."

    That results in a 43 megaton blast... which would be sufficient to have the sort of effect that we're told about, potentially, for a smaller planet (mars-sized) with a full atmosphere.

    Remember, the Hiroshima bomb was less than 15 kilotons, and the Nagasaki bomb was about 21 kilotons. Meaning, a 43 megaton blast is more than two thousand times as powerful as the Nagasaki blast was. If the Enterprise was in a low orbit (ie, like the ISS, for example), then it would very likely be affected by such a blast.
    Yep, that's me. Science is the foundation of the real world... or rather, science is the tool that we use to understand the real world (best not to confuse the tool with the real thing, right?).

    For me to be able to accept entertainment, it must either be intentionally silly (say, like Spaceballs), which does not need to be taken seriously, and which in fact FAILS if you try to take it seriously... or it must be something I can watch and allow myself to believe, even if that means only during the time I'm watching, that "this is real."

    If there's something that tosses into my face, over and over, that "this is bull" (see the movie Armageddon for my favorite "bitching example" of this!), I can't get involved in the movie and can't enjoy it very much as a result.

    And this need not mean "everything in the film must be based upon real science." But it can't utterly contradict real science (again, see Armageddon), or I can't believe it, and thus can't enjoy it.

    I could run down everything in Armageddon that makes me wretch (and I won't include Ben Affleck, by the way... at least he was entertaining in the View Askew flicks!), but it's easier to just link you guys to a site that's pretty well covered it all already (and thus you won't have to read me rant about it!)

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/armpitageddon.html
     
  11. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is how I like to explain Scotty in the M/A-M integrater without a stitch of extra protective clothing, after having just said that it was not meant to be occupied while the engines were running, and he's not sure someone could even survive the energy stream! He was wearing a utility belt though, so maybe this was his TAS-style life support belt?

    Which is my justification for applying real science to trek tech. Plus, like many fans, I'm trying to come up with a plausible set of deck plans for the TOS ship, so knowing a little bit about how real M/A-M reactions occur, or how real crystals are used in technological applications, helps to narrow down the possibilities of how M/ARC might possibly look and/or function in treknology, at least in broad parameters. :techman:
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ILM can just CGI in a life support belt aura, and him even switching it on, for the extra special edition in 3D. No biggie.
     
  13. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Gee, that'd be like setting an episode in 1930 with the radio playing a song that didn't come out until 1932 and Clark Gable already being a movie star at a time when he was still doing walk-on parts...

    :devil:
     
  14. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I know! It's just like that setting was in an alternate universe that's close but not exactly like ours! :devil:
     
  15. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I suppose you'll need to retcon two things then, "30,000 km away" becomes "300 km away" :)

    I get that, although, philosophically I differ with you as I think that using the same principles of science, the Scientific Method, would be useful for observing what we see in TOS to come up with something that fits what we see rather than having to retcon/change it to fit what we believe it should be. I ended up there mostly due to building out the TOS Enterprise and finding my own assumptions didn't always match up to what was depicted. Of course, our mileage may vary :)
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I for one am perfectly comfortable with the idea that imprecision in language and the occasional misspeak by crew or characters (going uncorrected for whatever reason) probably explains away most of the scientific weirdness on screen.

    For everything else, there's RetCon.
     
  17. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Agreed. Retcon is inevitably going to be necessary from time to time, but sometimes the easiest "retcon" is to just say that "this character was wrong."
     
  18. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I prefer to restrict the use of RetCon to those who learn too much about Torchwood.
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Parallel Universes :D You guys don't think Star Trek is our universe with our Real World physical laws, right? ;)
     
  20. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    For the record - I do! It just makes the show more realistic for me if the physical laws are the same, and has been observed by others there are plenty of methods to explain away inconsistencies.

    There are more than enough reasons to think that it exists in an alternate history though. A history where the space age developed in the way we wanted it to...