246 elements known to Federation science

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Deks, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In ST: Voyager, it was mentioned by Janeway that there are 246 elements known to Federation science (in the 24th century).

    This suggests really high level of technology and advancement which is not fully utilized/seen in the show.
    As we know, the writers never wrote Trek and took advantage of the full scope of Federation technical and scientific scope in order to justify 'the drama' factor...
    But as we established before, you can still have drama in a highly advanced setting... it simply requires adjustment of drama to fit within that setting.

    At the moment, there are confirmed 118 elements known to our science in real life... but we aren't really using our scientific or technical knowledge to their fullest potential at all due to an outdated socio-economic system we have in place which is artificially limiting us... but otherwise, we DO have a technical, scientific and resource ability to achieve really big things if we actually wanted to (while preserving the environment, repairing it and minimizing our footprint on Earth by at least 10 times - all at the same time).

    I was wondering how does this compare to other Scifi universes and would understanding/knowledge of more elements dictate the level of technical and scientific capabilities of a given species.

    In SG:1 there were 146 elements presented in 'Torment of Tantalus'... which were used for communication... this suggests that the Ancients, and other 3 species were behind Federation science by about 100 elements at the time they were using this method of communication.
    Granted, things might have changed in the interim, but evidently, not by much.

    Trek really needs to be updated in a technical manner to reflect more closely that kind of understanding...
    Not just that, but I would imagine that Federation science should know of a lot more elements than just 246.in the 24th century.

    Given that in real life we will begin using AI/automation in R&D to find new elements (Actually, I think we already are doing this sporadically - not because its not possible to apply it everywhere, but rather its deemed 'cost prohibitive' for some organizations and fields to implement it right now), our scientific knowledge will effectively skyrocket to faster than exponential levels.
    AI can also be used to implement these findings in practice in a very small amount of time (hours/days, vs years).
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20160115-how-many-more-chemical-elements-are-there-for-us-to-find

    Its interesting to ponder... when might we in real life reach the Federation's understanding of elements known to our science - that is if we CAN reach 246 of them... but given how little we actually know about the universe as is, its possible we could.

    Given the exponential progression and returns, I fairly doubt it will take us 353 years...
    The more AI is implemented in R&D and across different fields, the faster the development...
    Already, we're using supercomputers to find new magnetic materials:
    https://futurism.com/supercomputers-were-just-used-to-create-new-magnetic-materials/
    Plus, an AI is able to extrapolate the chemical elements table on its own:
    https://news.stanford.edu/2018/06/25/ai-recreates-chemistrys-periodic-table-elements/
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  2. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Star Trek is a sci-fi fantasy show, action-adventure and drama are it's bread and butter. By no measure is it a science show.

    With some small exceptions the majority of the science on the show borders on the "goofy" side.
     
  3. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    Even with "islands of stability" in the table, the vast majority of them would be ridiculously heavy and unstable.
     
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  4. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nothing preventing it from being more consistent/accurate (and updated) when it comes to the science and technology.
    And, Star Wars is more of a fantasy than Trek is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Some key Trek stuff appears to hinge on the "islands" concept in general. The Trek universe is full of gaps and gulfs beyond which hide surprise discoveries.

    The Fermi paradox is defeated by exceeding a threshold speed/threshold tech level, revealing all. Warp becomes the easier, the faster you go, as you discover these fancy power requirement minima you then dub integer warp factors. And tech progress changes from exponential to punctuated-equilibrium...

    Little of this is writer intent, of course. But this does not matter in the end. The future elements being surprisingly stable would only be expected here!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The lack of need to do so.
     
  7. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the Trek multiverse,the Strong and Weak nuclear forces are different in strength and range to permit more stable elements?
     
  8. Sisko_is_my_captain

    Sisko_is_my_captain Captain Captain

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    • Well, honestly, anybody can predict the possibility of larger and larger elements - just add another proton. In my head canon, I imagine that some of the larger ones end up being more stable than they 'should' be, because - as future humans discovered - their structure interacts with and extends into subspace. Those elements then form a physical basis for accessing and building things like subspace scanners and radio, warp coils, and ftl computing.
     
  9. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  10. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe their table includes multidimensional substances and things below hydrogen?
     
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  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They never said all those elements were stable. In the 24th century maybe they can detect decays with attosecond resolution?
     
  12. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    Nothing below a single proton is an atom (false magnetic bubble fabricated 'atoms' need external containment to exist) and Trek tends to treat heavy elements as still consisting of light matter, non-phased atomic mass.

    That's not to say there can't be heavier stable ones, probably in p and d blocks, since a lot of the ones we see in Trek are d-series metals like duranium, tritanium and dilithium.

    It's just there's going to be less useful ones amid a lot of placeholders on the table.
     
  13. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    "Neutronium" is the scientific term created in 1926 to describe a hypothetical atom with no protons (atomic number of 0). It has no real scientific value today, and free neutrons or groups of neutrons are not treated as elements in their own right.

    Yet, in Star Trek of course, neutronium has shown up a dozen times, and appears to be naturally occurring.
     
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  14. DSG2k

    DSG2k Commander Red Shirt

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    I think you're thinking of Star Wars and its veins of neutronium on a moon. In Star Trek, neutronium outside of its natural habitat (i.e. collapsed stars and similar) is always artificially created/maintained, per my perusal of the transcripts.
     
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  15. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the novels, neutronium was shorthand for hyponeutronium, AFAIR.
     
  16. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    Remember that Neutronium had to be "Alloyed" to make it workable outside of it's natural habitat.

    And manufacturing it must've been SUPER time & resource intensive, but the rewards it brings (Like that un assaualtable door at the end of DS9) was a real problem.

    I'm sure if the Federation ever got their hands on that tech, it could be used on critical parts of the ship to make it nearly impervious to damage.