Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Metryq, Mar 2, 2013.
Kubrick and Clarke were way ahead of the curve with HAL 9000.
I have a theory that every television series that ran for at least two three or years has it's own "Spock's Brain." I'm currently working my way through the third season of Starsky and Hutch on DVD, and just saw the episode "Satan's Witches". This gets my vote as S&H's version of "Spock's Brain".
But that's total bullshit. Absolute nonsense.
You can't divine a mechanism's deeper nature from its name. What is a "rotary engine"? It's a rotating-piston internal combustion engine also known as the Wankel engine. And it's a classic reciprocal-piston radial engine used in early aircraft, where the main axle is immobile and the entire engine (along with the propeller) rotates for cooling. And it would be a valid way to describe a turbine, or an electric motor. Or any motion technology that falls outside the parameters of "linear engine".
Saying that "ion power" must refer exclusively to the probably completely useless charged-particles-as-propellant toys being tinkered with today is like saying that "rotor" must refer to the thing atop a helicopter and therefore can never credibly be part of an automobile. Not even when it's a key component of the most modern automobiles today, the ones with electric engines where "rotor" is a central component. And was a key component in the most antiquated automobiles of yesteryear, the ones with electric engines...
That said, I sort of like Dave Stern's use of the buzzword in the novel Daedalus, where "ion cascades" are a speculative power generation or transformation technology - combined with the mention of "polaric ions" in Voyager. It's clearly something even Janeway finds impressive enough, something that could power starships or entire planets but is way too dangerous for those large scale applications and probably best confined to shuttlecraft or pocket lighters. And it's not an acronym or some other dodge - but it's not contrary to physics, either. There are many uses to an ion today, and many more will be found in the future.
I do concur that the widespread notion of an "ion drive" had been the electrical acceleration of ionized particles for propulsion exhaust.
At the time it was and sounded admittedly like a more sophisticated (and cleaner) from of propulsion than the nuclear one, but apparently many people didn't understand that the thrust of such an ion drive (only works in the vacuum of space) is ridiculously inferior to even a chemical rocket (it builds up velocity over a long period of time and simply has a better payload-onboard fuel ratio).
The "official" interpretation for the acronym T.I.E (fighter) is "twin-ion-engined" but already a quick glance at the stern of Lord Vader's (long range) TIE fighter reveals that there are not two but four propulsion engines (nozzles).
Many years ago I talked about the issue with ILM model maker Lorne Peterson in Italy and he told me that they had considered an alternate acronym interpretation: Thermal Ion Energy
Considering that nuclear fusion occurs by the free floating particles of an ionized plasma, I had always taken this as a very strong hint, that we are looking a two fusion reactors powering the TIE fighter which are somehow referred to as "(power) engines" opposite to "(propulsion) engines".
Though I usually abide to the unwritten law that you shouldn't mix terminology of the Star Wars Universe with the one from the Star Trek Universe, I'm afraid, that the "ion power" quote from Scotty in "Spock's Brain" equally refers to some kind of fusion process.
Maybe they used antimatter deuterium and antimatter tritium for antimatter nuclear fusion which still might be somewhat more what Federation technology is capable of in the 23rd Century.
Now in John Archibald Wheeler's book Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics he talked about the concept "Charge without charge."
This might be a bit different
Now of all the drives seen yet, the cytherian probe in the Nth degree seemed to move without any type of field manipulation at all, at least not detectably. That impresses me as a fictional concept. This all plays into my difficulty in how to rank pure saucer concepts.
The metaluna type saucer in This Island Earth looks more primative than a Fed saucer, which has a busy secondary hull nacelle pairing. But Klaatu's minimalist design seems to argue for simplicity.
Then I look at a Klingon Bird of Prey, I see a more agile version of the Great Eastern.
It has artificial and anti-gravity, retro-thrusters, and warp/impulse drive--oh and wings to boot.
Great Eastern had sails, paddlewheels and propellers.
But the props (now maybe kitesails) took over from that--so maybe a pure simple saucer is more advanced, despite the retro look...
In terms of Spocks brain, his headpiece almost seemed proto-cyberman. Maybe an artist could show some handlebars too--or Nimoy in Alan Rickman's head sculpt in Galaxy Quest for a joke
There's the one Trek episode that involves an "ion storm."
Once, the TVGuide summary rendered this "an iron storm."
That was an interesting slip. i was trying to imagine a bombardment of heavy particles!
Or a somewhat lackluster video game.
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