Would you use a transporter?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Third Nacelle, May 16, 2013.

  1. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    But you aren't looking at the efficiency of these things.

    A hover car (we saw them in AGT) may be more efficient than a transporter for trips of up to 50 miles, say. An air tram (like we saw Kirk arriving in at the beginning of TMP) may be more efficient for trips of 1000 miles.

    You've got no justification for saying that a transporter is more energy efficient for all distances that are too far to walk when compared with all other forms of transport.

    After all, if that were the case, they'd just put a bunch of transporter relays throughout space and then beam from planet to planet a la Stargate.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Nor would the user.

    After all, cars are being used today despite being the least efficient method of getting around - they sell because they are comfortable.

    You mean Kirk's personal surface-to-orbit limousine, complete with a stewardess? Nothing even remotely hinting at public transportation or optimization of resources there.

    Energy efficiency is passé. These people get their food from replicators, remember? A billion people teleporting to work would make no dent in a power network robust enough to handle fifteen billion people making their breakfast, lunch, afternoon ice cream and dinner out of energy.

    Having vehicles around would be a far greater problem. Somebody would have to build, operate, maintain and eventually dispose of this redundant technology, which takes up space better used for flowers and recreational horse carts - while also having the omnipotent transporters around.

    We never heard of it being possible to relay a transporter signal until the Hirogen-controlled network showed up...

    But apparently transporters are really energy-efficient anyway: Dana Rogar powers one up with a hand phaser battery, and any dying shuttlecraft has enough oomph left to beam out the occupants. Using starships to go from planet to planet must be the wasteful approach - but one needs the starships, and one apparently doesn't need planet-to-planet commuting.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    There are many reasons why people by cars. Having already made the decision to buy one, comfort is, however, a reason people choose one model over another.
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    And faster than walking or riding a bike.

    No, it was not a personal limo.

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Air_tram

    I don't see that you have any justification for saying that people in Star Trek don't care about energy efficiency.

    We handle it just fine today.

    No, Roga Danar powered up the controlling panel, not the transporter itself.
     
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Nah. From TNG: The Hunted:

    I'm going to go with what Worf actually said: the phaser powered the cargo transporter, which means the transporter itself.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    But more fundamentally, comfort is the only reason to buy a car over some alternate means of motion, as it cannot do anything more, or more efficiently or affordably or faster, than a suitable combination of the alternatives - it can merely do it more comfortably (including the comfort of providing a compromise package of features from all the possible alternatives).

    Not always. But the point is, you don't need to ride a bike or have a car because the transporter covers those niches already. In fact, it covers all possible niches - the exact same reason people buy cars today, rather than a combination of train, ship and aircraft tickets, bikes and wheelbarrows.

    Nothing in the movie suggests it would have been anything else. A high-ranking person is the only passenger, with servants, and parks in a lot for the privileged.

    I just provided it. Perhaps they care - but clearly not enough to prevent transporting, or else they wouldn't replicate, either.

    No, we don't. We destroy cities with it, we destroy planets with it, and still we don't get the comfort we sought when paying for it; instead, we get traffic jams, breakdowns and fuel expenses.

    If we got something better (and the transporter is so much better people would kill for it today), we'd ditch vehicles in a heartbeat. And we know that at least our immediate heroes did: they beam home for dinner, they beam in furniture when moving...

    As for Dana Rogar's antics, we have to admit that he fooled our heroes time and again. Any statement the heroes make might be completely erroneous as the result (indeed, only Data seems to correctly evaluate what has happened moments ago, while the others are played for suckers). But it would be a tad odd for Rogar to get power to a transporter from the regular socket when our heroes deliberately cut power to it - and a tad less implausible for him to achieve the feat with a portable power source our heroes would be unable to cut.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    No doubt for some people, that is true.

    But where there is no adequate mass transit, in rural settings were there is no mass transit at all, and when people have to frequently move things that cannot be taken on mass transit, there may be no affordable alternative. Those factors have nothing to do with comfort per se. They have to do with transporting people and cargo over certain distances within certain time frames according to a personalized schedule. Do those sort of things often enough and cars become the only affordable and available means. The question of what alternative might perform the same functions more efficiently is academic, if there are none available to the people who need those functions now.

    There are other reasons why people own cars that have nothing to do comfortable transportation or logistics.
     
  8. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Location:
    Right where I want to be
    I would think that, at most, we would only be destroying one planet... ;)
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    On the subject of what need there is in the Star Trek universe for conventional modes of transportation, such as shuttlecraft, trams, ground cars, etc., for travel around cities and planets, the following occurred to me.

    From TOS: The Tholian Web:

    To me, that suggests the possibility that there might be the need to allocate transporter frequencies in metropolitan areas, for the same basic reason that radio frequencies are allocated IRL today, in order to avoid interference.

    If that's the case, then there would be an ultimate bottleneck on transporter activity in any given area. Such a bottleneck would create an actual need for conventional modes of transportation, such as those mentioned above.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  10. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Are you kidding me? Driving from your place to somewhere else is going to be nearly always faster than public transport, walking or cycling.

    Now you are contradicting yourself. You just said that a car "cannot do anything more, or more efficiently or affordably or faster, than a suitable combination of the alternatives..." and yet now you are saying that a car can sometimes be faster than a bike?

    Anyway, I love this "A car is not always faster than a bike" thing. You commute ten kilometers to work on a bike, then try it in a car, and then tell me which one is faster.

    I assume you mean that woman behind him in the thing was his servant. Which explains why she doesn't follow Kirk at all, of course. Why would Kirk's servant actually stay with Kirk? [/sarcasm]You're just guessing. The fact is that we see another person in the tram with Kirk, and there is nothing to indicate that she is anything more than just another passenger. She doesn't talk to Kirk, or follow Kirk or anything - and surely, if she was his assistant, she would, seeing as how Kirk was on his way to a very important meeting.

    And also notice the two other air trams that were already there? If this is a limo service, then it's awfully busy. Perhaps Starfleet routinely hires limos for its officers to get around on Earth.

    No you didn't. You just guessed.

    Yes, I'm sure that Star Trek still uses fossil fuels and has poor traffic management. Hell, we're going to have computer controlled cars that drive themselves in a few decades at most. Is it that hard to believe that such technology exists in Star trek too? So where are the pollutants and the traffic jams that will cause all these problems that can only, according to you, be fixed by transporters?

    Here's an example. I work on the trains in Sydney. Each train has 8 carriages and can hold in total about a thousand people, which is quite common in peak hour. A train every five minutes on a platform, and that gives you 5000 people in an hour on a platform. Now, add to that the fact that you have many different platforms (at Sydney's Central Station, there are 25 platforms, but only ten of them are suburban platforms that have the trains coming and going that often). So, that can give you about 50,000 passengers an hour on those ten platforms. The furthest the suburban trains come from is about an hour's travel, so let's say the average commute time is 30 minutes.

    Let's say we replace all that with transporters. A transporter cycle takes 6 seconds, if I remember correctly. Add in time it takes to get on the pad, tell the operator where you are going and all that, let's say it takes 15 seconds (which I think is quite generous, it would probably take longer). So that means that with one pad, you can beam four people each minute. If we assume that the transporters are like the ones on the ships, you get six people at a time (let's not quibble about whether they are all going to the same place or not), so in one transporter room, you can beam 24 people a minute.

    Now, according to my calculations, to beam the full 50,000 passengers Central gets an hour with one transporter room would take more than 2000 minutes (2083 minutes and 20 seconds, actually). To keep up with the flow at Central, you'd need to beam 833 people per minute, which comes out to 35 transporter rooms like the ones on the Enterprise. That's 35 transporter rooms, each beaming six people every 15 seconds, non stop for a whole hour.

    And that's just one station.

    It seems obvious to me that more conventional forms of public transport would be more efficient.

    Well, working on starships, they're in a privledged position, aren't they? And let's not forget that when Ben beamed home for dinner, he used up his transporter priveldgeds very quickly, so it sounds like transporters aren't the "use them whenever you want" thing that you make them out to be. And beaming in furniture does make sense, because it removes the risk of damage as you bring them in through narrow doors, or up stairs etc. But that's not public transport, is it?
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Doing it by wire rather than by broadcast should solve that problem.

    How so? To drive, you need to get to the car, move the car from A to B, and to ditch the car. To transport, in the worst case scenario you need to get to a transporter station and that's it. No time spent going from A to B, no vehicle to ditch. And you can probably forgo going to the transporter station in most cases, too.

    Vehicles can't beat instantaneous travel. They're just a bloody nuisance the traveler is better off without.

    No contradiction there. The car isn't faster than the train or the plane. The car doesn't carry more cargo than the train or the ship. The car isn't cheaper than the bike. It's just a comfortable compromise between such features.

    Anyway, I love this "brainless opponent" thing. What possible relevance does you ranting have on either whether cars or bikes are faster, or anything else?

    She attends Kirk to the door, then watches him leave. That's what stewardesses do. "Passengers" walk away at the destination, because that's the whole point of the exercise.

    That's pretty lame even coming from you. Why is three limos an unlikely occurrence in a place that already has one? Typically, limos are flock animals: when a VIP arrives, it is to a location where other VIPs also gather.

    This is exactly what I think is going on. The common folks travel by transporting; the opulent and the idle move by vehicles.

    A guess has an outcome. Clearly, Trek doesn't provide an outcome: we only get what we see. Hence, what I have is a quoting of simple evidence, that of Earthlings spending massive energies for domestic purposes when they could do with literally less than a trillionth of it and simply grow beets instead of replicating them.

    Feel free to have that odd belief and many more. I'm only sure of what I see: they don't use vehicles except once in a blue moon, and they never have "traffic" of them.

    This is possible only by three means:

    1) The vehicles all travel underground. Indeed, we see subway stations in "Non Sequitur". But that's the exact opposite of having cars, as underground traffic is not feasible with individual vehicles.

    2) The vehicles all travel in space. But where are the starports in that case? Why aren't the skies full of arriving and departing vehicles? Only Starfleet Headquarters has any appreciable number of them, and they all come with the arrowhead symbol and the red cheat lines.

    3) Vehicles are not in use. Well, except in Iowa.

    You are now describing how you would commute through a city in a Challenger tank. Don't mix military hardware with (so far unseen) civilian systems; it never works. Obviously, civilian transporters would be more like your passenger train: instead of four pads per station, there'd be four thousand channels for site-to-site, say.

    The "beaming in furniture" reference from "Paradise Lost" had nothing to do with people working on starships, and even less to do with the starships themselves. It described civilian life in New Orleans.

    Sure, perhaps New Orleans is a theme park for the privileged, and perhaps only people closely related to Starfleet are safe from being shot at the gates. But I'm not sure old Joe Sisko would have much truck with such life, and he's the one suggesting nobody else has trucks, either.

    Ben Sisko in turn was the very opposite of privileged: he was a Starfleet Cadet, being forced to undergo hardship and discipline. He can't even choose what he wears; why should he be able to use the transporter as freely as his civilian friends?

    No - it's private transport. Which obviously is handled by transporters in the 24th century, although the prominent lack of vehicles in the late 23rd makes one wonder, too.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    We know that transporters involve subspace fields of some kind (from The Best of Both Worlds, Part II: "The signals are interactive across a subspace domain similar to that of a Transporter beam."), but we don't know what kind of "wire" would be required to carry a transporter beam.

    For all we know, the "wire" has to have an area of more than one square centimeter, and it can carry the signal from only one pad at a time. That would be a lot of wire, man.
     
  13. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    In a finely-crafted cosmos... of my own making.
    I would never step into one. In order to work, it has to kill me (desintegrating is pretty much killing) then use my pattern to create a perfect copy of me. Screw that, I'll take a shuttle.

    Of course, if it's a wormhole transporter, count me in.
     
  14. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Germany, Earth, the Solar System
    So basically you want a Portal Gun.
     
  15. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Denorios Belt
    Ummm.... who doesn't?
     
  16. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Location:
    Right here buddy.
    Personally I wouldn't use a transporter. I'm still contemplating if the guy who reappears is they real thing or a copy. Remember Tom Riker?
     
  17. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    WOuldn't a Portal Gun violate the laws of physics, even if we had wormhole technology? I mean, let's say we had a moon a light minute away. I fire a portal at the wall next to me, and a portal at the moon.

    Now, at the end of Portal 2, we saw that the portal you fire takes time to travel to its destination, because it took about a second to travel to the moon. That's fine and as it should be. But when you step into a Portal, you are instantly coming out the other side. Doesn't this violate the "nothing can travel instantaneously" thing? If the moon is a lighht minute away, then it will take the Portal a minute to reach the moon once you fire it. But then, when you step into the other portal on the wall next to you, shouldn't it also take a minute before you come out the other side?
     
  18. Lt. Uhura-Brown

    Lt. Uhura-Brown Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Location:
    New Zealand
    That's the point of a Wormhole. That's what a wormhole IS, a means to travel instantly from one side to the other while outside of conventional space.

    Otherwise, for example, every other episode of Deep Space 9 would take 70 years to broadcast.
     
  19. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Location:
    Right here buddy.
    Think of it as warped space between portals. You're not traveling super fast, there's just less distance to travel.
     
  20. desertstarlover

    desertstarlover Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona - East Valley