TOS Phasers

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Dale Sams, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    He also blows up a panel with another phaser, and uses one to power the cargo transporter.
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Which was pretty darn cool I thought, and was a first in Star Trek wasn't it?

    And which brings us full circle: If a hand phaser holds enough juice to power at least one human transport, then surely it holds enough juice to power half a transport and beam someone out of existence. It's not a question of raw power.

    The only technical issue with whether the phaser works that way is in the nature of the beam itself; does it have the right kind of emitters. A distinction between what we saw on TOS and what we saw in TWOK with dematerialization was that in TOS, the setting seemed to freeze the victim in his tracks. Of course, the color was a pale and ghostlike and hardly suggested flames and burning, also in contrast to TWOK. The OP's question is hardly a dumb one.

    No residue or scorch marks were left on decks. I'm going to admit that until TWOK, I thought the TOS dematerialize was always a conversion of matter to energy, because the victim seemed to simply disappear. What we saw in ENT: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II, was a retcon.
     
  3. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For some reason, maybe the original Tech Manual I forget, my brother and I used the term "dematerialize" for that glowing\vanish effect.
     
  4. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why do phasers have vaporize settings anyway? It's pretty nasty way of killing and removing the mess at the same time. Seems a bit like overkill.
     
  5. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because they're the Swiss Army knives of the future. You can use them to heat rocks, cut through an engineering bulkhead, stun a gangster and, yes, vaporize something -- such as the top of a mountain concealing the entrance to the Talosians lair. I think we seldom (ever?) see Starfleet personnel in their right minds using them to kill. Offhand, I can only think of the salt vampire being killed (in defense of the captain), and even that wasn't vaporization, and it was after attempts to stun.
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Phasers are as much tools as they are weapons, IMO. It may have been that tool aspect of them that prompted them to look more like "dustbusters" rather than outright pistols in TNG.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Good answer. :techman:
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...But in this argument, setting a phaser to overload is supposed to be a no-brainer, as the bum of "City on the Edge" did it by accident. :devil:

    Perhaps it's a Prime Directive consideration - tampering will very probably result in destruction?

    ...Or just to power up the control console? The ship herself wasn't powered down: the heroes locked out certain functions and powered down certain systems. Perhaps they thought that powering down transporter controls would make it impossible to route power to the transporters?

    Or perhaps the victim was phased out of this world in a nanosecond, and the afterimage created this impression.

    A slower phasing out would allow the victim to do what people in transporter beams are capable of doing: moving about.

    Even if most of the energy went "elsewhere", having any of it remain at the death scene would create effects: hot winds at the very least, and scorch marks in all likelihood. Conversion to something more exotic would probably be a more convenient explanation.

    Not in TOS, no, AFAIK. Not in the line of duty. Personal vendettas such as Riley's probably wouldn't qualify as "in their right minds".

    Kirk's victim in ST3 after the beam-down to Genesis was the first one not to get up again, wasn't he?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, she really knew how to use a phaser. She was a bad ass!

    Worf said, "He used a phaser to power the cargo transporter." [http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/159.htm] Plus, that connector looked like it was specifically designed for a phaser to seat into. Seems pretty clear cut.

    This I agree with.
    This I agree with, too, if by exotic you mean something not established by contemporary particle physics.
    In A Private Little War, McCoy and Kirk both dematerialized Mugatos, without trying to stun them first. Perhaps Kirk knew that stunning would be unsafe or ineffectual, from his previous visit to Neural, and instructed the landing parties accordingly. :shrug:
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: OK; I'll concede that point!
     
  12. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Could there be an element of Transporter tech or theory at work in a phaser? It might account for why there's no collateral damage. The phaser's beam works as a very crude transporter effect: destroying the target, but limiting the collateral damage.

    Maybe (in universe) by TNG's time phasers have some sort of universal charge part or have a "emergency setting" that allows them to be used a battery packs for Starfleet tech.
     
  13. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A special mode named after Engineer Scott, following his adaptation of the phasers in "The Galileo Seven."

    (While working at a multimedia company during the '90s, a co-worker named Doug modified a camcorder with a studio zoom controller. Camcorders were much bigger back then. One "wore" the camera on a shoulder, and the zoom and focus controls were right on the lens. Clamping a controller to the carry handle so that it stuck straight out the back greatly facilitated operation when the camera was tripod mounted. The pistol grip also helped when hand-holding the camera in a low-slung fashion. We later called it "Douging the camera.")
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd rather approach the phasers-as-batteries issue from the other end: a method exists for charging the phasers in the first place. Having this be as universal as possible would eliminate the traditional problem of castaways and soldiers overall - ammunition would no longer be a scarce commodity, more vital than water or food because of its utter irreplaceability, but could be obtained from any old household socket (or wireless system) normally used for keeping the kitchen appliances and PADDs charged.

    If phasers get their charge from universal household sockets/powerfields, it would be easy to postulate that power can also flow in the other direction, between any arbitrarily chosen applications and storage media.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    @Timo, perhaps by TNG time and later, that may be the case. But in "The Galileo Seven" it sounded like an ad-libbed idea:

     
  16. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To add to the confusion:
    It's assumed by the name that the "phase pistol" in ENT is a technological precursor to the phaser, but it does not appear able to remove targets from this universe.

    Malcolm Reed: "They have two settings, stun and kill. It would be best not to confuse them."

    If we assume it uses the same technology as a phaser, then it's better to assume that "phasing" is something done to the ammo, not the target.
     
  17. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From TMOST:
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Treknology and TMoST tend to be mutually exclusive: basically everything the book ever suggested, online developments have proven incorrect. Luckily, phasers still remain a vague technology, not easily contradicted one way or another..

    The interesting thing here is that the original fuel was a fluid stored in a tank, probably gaseous or cryogenic because when leaking out it disappeared without leaving a puddle. But Scotty said they lost it all when a leak indeed developed - yet after the phaser trick, there suddenly is fluid in the tanks again! Or at least something that can be measured as "fifteen pounds psi" (a nonsense measure that was probably meant to read "15 psi", a valid measure of pressure and useful for gaseous fuel being stored under pressure) and sprayed out to create a light show.

    Do phaser batteries store energy in fluid form? Was Scotty draining gas out of them and into the shuttle tanks? The shuttlecraft also had "batteries", and those were used for electrifying the hull and repelling the savages - plus "boosters" which seemed to spray out gas and generate thrust in the process. These were clearly different systems from each other, and from the main power or propulsion system, the one that used the fluid they lost in the leak. It's a jumbled mess...

    ...And certainly enough to make this particular phaser-draining trick "ad-libbed" even if getting power out of phaser power packs in general were the most routine thing in the world.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That never made sense to me either. The best I could come up with was that the shuttle had a fuel synthesizer that couldn't be used until Scotty powered it with a phaser.

    The dialogue above doesn't outright contradict that, but it only works if you assume Spock and Scotty are leaving out half the details.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    If the fluid fuel were cryogenic, we could argue that a leak that allowed the tanks to equalize with outside air would still leave some of the stuff sloshing inside the tanks - but unreachable and useless, as there was no pressure and no means of driving it into the power generation or propulsion system.

    So we could say that the shuttle was using something like slush deuterium for its main powerplant (say, a fusion generator, or the "ion" powerplant mentioned in "The Menagerie", whatever that is), and this in turn provided power to the usual multiple drive systems in forms X (say, warp plasma) for the space drive and Y (say, electricity) for the liftoff gravitics. Further, phaser batteries would store energy in the form Y as well, and so would the shuttle's batteries.

    So the shuttle could go to space by powering its liftoff engine with Y from phaser batteries or onboard batteries. Not like a rocket which accelerates madly in order to reach space before fuel runs out (a necessity with chemical rockets), but like an elevator which slowly works its way up but uses very little energy per kilometer or per second. That's what one would expect from an antigravity drive, really. By dumping a few crewmen and the porta-pot, the antigravity elevator would take the shuttle back to space again, even though the main reactor was out of its fluid fuel and could not power up the actual spaceflight engines.

    But if a few cavemen tried to hitch a ride, then although the craft had enough stored energy to reach space, it would not be able to cope with the temporary excess burden, as there was an absolute cap on power. So Scotty's answer to Spock that the batteries are fine but won't be able to lift them off could be taken to mean that they can't take off on battery power yet! Not until a few more phasers have been drained into the batteries.

    No fluid fuel would actually be added to the shuttle by the tapping of the phasers, then. Scotty would just get more energy into the batteries, in form Y, and this would eventually be used to hover the shuttle and float it to orbit. And once the craft reached space, Spock would be able to spit out the remaining drops of fluid from the main tanks, simply by opening the valves against the zero pressure and zero gravity of space (and perhaps also nudging the shuttle a little with the gravitics).

    That would be consistent with the dialogue, too, and would allow phasers to store their power in non-fluid form - say, in the sarium krellide batteries described in the TNG Tech Manual and retroactively established as having been present in 22nd century phasers as well (ENT "Andorian Incident", "Cogenitor").

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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