What's Up with the Warp Core (SPOILERS Into Darkness)

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Brent, May 17, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it's a component of the impulse engines. Basic impulse engines don't have the mass-reduction coils, but more sophisticated ones do. (Maybe this is what Scotty meant in "Balance of Terror" when he said the Romulans' "power is simple impulse" -- that they were just using pure rockets instead of mass reduction and thus weren't as maneuverable at impulse as the Enterprise.)
     
  2. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    So they are more effective when the warp engines are also online. This might explain why the 1701-D's nacelles were always on.

    The incredible G forces that the inertial dampeners deal with should mean that weapon hits on the hull have no effect on the crew. Alas, drama rules.

    I always thought it meant they were a type of nuclear pulse propulsion.
     
  3. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Really ? Again, I was under the impression that the Alcubierre drive actually moved the space around the ship.
     
  4. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's the general impression I've gotten for years now. The "atomic matter piles" referred to in the TOS episode "Court Martial" as existing aboard the Starship Republic might very well have been connected to the ship's impulse drive, plus there've been a few times in the history of the franchise when sublight impulse propulsion was referred to as using nuclear fusion reactions. To be frank, I've accepted Starfleet impulse drives as being nuclear in nature since I was very young and learning what I could about the designs of starships in the franchise.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No -- just because warp engines can be used as mass-reduction fields, that doesn't mean they automatically reduce mass. We're talking about two different spacetime metrics (i.e. shapes for the fabric of space) here. A warp field would be a pretty severe distortion of the shape of spacetime, akin to a very large, dense, and quite oddly shaped body comprising positive and negative mass. A mass-reduction field would be a flattening-out of spacetime, a cancellation of the spacetime distortion created by the mass of the ship. So the same technology is needed to make them both, but that technology is being applied in very different ways. A warp engine could have its field configuration tuned to have a mass-reduction effect, but then it wouldn't be tuned for warp drive.


    Which are an example of propulsion via Newton's third law, i.e. reaction thrust.


    My understanding is that the directionality of the field is unpredictable unless you already have a motion vector (although relative to what is the question). I'm afraid I can't remember where I read it, though, and I'm having no luck tracking it down with a keyword search.
     
  6. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    Christopher,

    What is the source for your information?

    The first instance where the term rocket was used, in reference to the impulse engines, was in "The Cage".

    The first instance where fusion is associated with the impulse engines is "The Doomsday Machine".

    The SS Mariposa had pulse fusion warp engines.

    Fusion reactors are used for powering main power in spacecraft. When DS9's fusion reactor was hit in "The Visionary", the station lost main power.

    So, both the warp and impulse engines power main power, and when both were damaged on the Enterprise, the ship lost main power. Auxiliary power was damaged by other means. The question for me is this, why didn't they attempt to restore impulse power first, then warp power? Is restoring impulse power more difficult than warp power?
     
  7. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In Doomsday Machine they also mentioned fuel being exhausted for the Impulse Engines when they had to power the ship in a combat situation for length of time.

    Maybe bringing up the warp core was the easier fix, also maybe they figured they may still need weapons and shields if the Vengeance came back online.


    -Chris
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They did the same thing in DS9 "Emissary" using the station's deflector shields. Reducing the mass of the station allowed them to move it to the Denorious belt in only two days using the station's attitude control thrusters.
     
  9. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't say it did.

    Yes. I was just adding information.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which information? I already said I couldn't track down my source for the last thing. The others are just basic physics.


    Although the second pilot's reference to the impulse points decaying to lead implies that they were meant to be made of uranium, i.e. that the impulse engines were assumed to be fission-powered.
     
  11. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was going to mention Gary Mitchell's remarks about the impulse deck power packs "decaying to lead" but didn't. That's just another piece of info from TOS that indicates the Enterprise's impulse engines are based on nuclear reactions. Thanks for mentioning that line of dialogue.