In which I bow to Wil Wheaton’s superior intellect

By Phil Plait | January 27, 2008 10:15 pm

… well, at least when it comes to treknobabble.

We all know how I feel about Wil, so I need not go into it here.

As Wil mentions in his blog, he totally pwned me in Trek lore. This is somewhat humiliating, but the tale must be told.

It went like this: I blogged about the Trek teaser, aired before Cloverfield. He then emailed me, complaining about turbines on the warp nacelles — why do you need turbines in space? I decided to be a little snarky, and reply using a string of standard Star Trek tech babble, called treknobabble, which I totally made up on the fly. Here’s what I wrote (incidentally, these emails are reproduced with permission):

Now sir, don’t make me school you in Treknobabble.

You know better than anyone how the warp nacelles need to control the matter/antimatter intermix ratio, and there *has* to be (duh) some sort of way of separating the flow. Since matter and antimatter have opposite spins and charges, the obvious way to do this is to have strong counterotating magnetic field generators (I’m guessing very-high-temperature superconductors or possibly supercooled neutronium, though that tech is beyond TOS) to deflect the divergent flows. Nano-inlaid microfibers would do it, provided they don’t embed them too close together!

I mean, c’mon. Sheesh.

Well. Wil replied, thusly:

Oh, it’s ON. You may have “science” on your side, but I have seven years of BS technobabble on mine.

[…]

The dilithium crystals separate and manage the flow of matter and antimatter in the engine core, so there’s no need for any field generators — or anything else — on the warp nacelles.

Oh, I was so lofty, I was so so so going to school him righteously that dilithium crystals channel the warp field directly, and have nothing to do with antimatter. But I needed backup; I am after all an astronomer, arguing with Crusher-by-proxy. So I went to Wikipedia, and looked up dilithium crystal:

When placed in a high frequency electromagnetic field, magnetic eddies are induced in its structure which keep charged particles away from the crystal lattice. This prevents it from reacting with antimatter when so energized, because the antimatter atoms never actually touch it. Therefore, it is used to contain and regulate the annihilation reaction of matter and antimatter in a starship’s warp core, which otherwise would explode from the uncontrolled annihilation reaction.

Oh, frak and feldergarb!

I was wrong, and Wil was right.

So I of course, being a gentleman, emailed him right back and politely conceded, saying,

CURSE YOU WIL WHEATON.

… to which he, being a gentleman himself, said,

I believe the damn kids today would say, “Owned.”

YES! m/

Now, it would be small of me to take advantage of this by, say, posting about it. But I wouldn’t do that, because we all know I like Wil, and we both liked Cloverfield for the same reasons (NSFW language there, kiddies), which is cool.

Oh, but I came this close to misspelling "Wil" on purpose.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Cool stuff, Humor

Comments (89)

  1. Joel

    Hahah Phil this cracked me up! Don’t mess with westley crusher!

  2. Wayne

    Hey, if your gonna get schooled in treknobabble, that’s about the geekiest way to go I can imagine.

    PS. Maybe they aren’t turbines, but simply structural supports that happen to look turbiney.

  3. If it makes you feel better, the Wheaton is not all knowing when it comes to Trek. I’m not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed. Or if I should write a revision of Geekcode.

  4. Actually, the damn kids today have progressed to “Pwned” (pronounced “Poned”). Feel free to use that as a come back, assuming Wil doesn’t read the comments here to trace it back to me.

  5. Impium Orexis

    You know, he probably looked it up on Wiki before you did.

  6. I still think it’s funny that so many supposed trekkies don’t remember the spinny-things behind the christmas tree lights on the nacelles on the original series. Quoth the Fleegman:

    “Didn’t you guys ever watch the show?”

    Also, I really wish I could figure out what shelly is trying to say. But, unfortunately, I only speak english, myself.

  7. Michael Lonergan

    But I saw them spinning like turbines! Honestly! Maybe it’s not really the real Enterprise?

  8. Chris R.

    anything astronomy unrelated and kindergardenish to wrote about supposidly a grown up , phil?

    “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” ;)

  9. Stripe

    I thought in ST lore that the front end of the nacelles were Bussard collectors for collecting the interstellar hydrogen used to mix with the anti-matter. Though what those spinning fan thing’s have to do with a magnetic ramscoop I have no clue.

  10. Chip

    Be careful if in future if you have a need to describe the workings of “Heisenberg Compensators”. Judging from many episodes of ST:TNG, Wil Wheaton is all over those too!

  11. This is irrelevant to the Wheaton entry but I didn’t know how else to make the comment. THANK YOU for removing the obnoxious “Skepchick” ad for atheism where a bimbo appears in a skimpy “cop” inspired outfit.

  12. The official explanation is that they’re Bussard collectors; a starship can accumulate interstellar hydrogen and use it as anything from fuel for the warp drive to reaction mass for the impulse drive to raw material for the replicators.

    The thing about Bussard collectors, though, is that it seems like they might only be practical on starships using some kind of non-Newtonian (well, since relativistic mechanics enters into it, non-Einsteinian?) drive.

    Here’s the problem: you want to accumulate molecules from the ISM and change their momentum so that they end up in your collector assembly. Usually the way of doing this is given as a powerful magnetic field. However, you want to do this in such a way that you don’t spend more energy sustaining the EMF than you obtain from collecting the hydrogen.

    The mathematics of this come out as into a differential system with the same structure as that for atmospheric drag. Depending on what assumptions you use, you get a maximum practical speed for a Bussard ramjet no more than between .1c and .25c. (This higher figure, in-universe, could explain Michael Okuda’s statement that “full impulse” is about a quarter lightspeed.)

    If you’re moving in a non-Newtonian fashion, though, the rules change. Since you’ve already got something that will move you faster than light at a less-than-infinite (and therefore less-than-Einsteinian) energy cost, altering the momentum of those hydrogen atoms is undoubtedly much, much cheaper.

    This leads to the problem of sustainability.

    At first I was afraid that the ISM might get depleted quickly by the wanton use of all this hydrogen. But I forgot just how big space is.

    Let’s say you’re taking a cruise from Earth to another star system, and you want to make all your food (a person needs about 3kg total of food and water per day) out of interstellar hydrogen. That means 3kg of hydrogen per person; to get this, for every person on your starship you need to sweep up every hydrogen atom in a 44,000 m2 area around your ship. Let’s say that the practical spacelane from the Sol to Alpha Centauri or wherever is on the order of magnitude of 2000 AU wide (about the diameter of the Kuiper belt).

    You end up with around 6 * 1024 person-day-trips. If you have perfect transmutation and reclamation, this turns into the same number of person-trips. Relocating the population of an entire industrialized planet wouldn’t put a dent in that.

    Some references on this subject to keep you entertained:
    Robert W Bussard, “Galactic Matter and Interstellar Flight”, Astronautica Acta 6 1960. (1960): 179 – 194

    McNutt Jr, R L; Andrews, G B; McAdams, J; Gold, R E; Santo, A; Oursler, D; Heeres, K; Fraeman, M; Williams, B. Low-cost interstellar probe. Acta Astronautica (0094-5765). Vol. 52, no. 2-6, pp. 267-279. Jan. 2003

    D. G. Andrews and R. M. Zubrin, “Magnetic Sails and Interstellar Travel,” International Astronautical Federation Paper IAF-88-5533, Bangalore, India, October 1988.

    ANDREWS, DANAG. Interstellar ramjets – Thirty years of engineering analyses. IAF, International Astronautical Congress, 40th, Malaga, Spain; INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION; 7-13 Oct. 1989. 4 pp. 1989

    Claude Semay et al The equation of motion of an interstellar Bussard ramjet. Eur. J. Phys. 26 75-83 (2005)

  13. claschxtreme

    Phil wrote :
    “You know better than anyone how the warp nacelles need to control the matter/antimatter intermix ratio”

    OMG everybody knows that the matter/antimatter intermix ratio ALWAYS is 50/50

  14. clash: Actually according to Okuda & Sternbach the ratio starts out favoring matter but reaches 1:1 at warp 8. No idea about the underlying technobabble; at a guess you need some minimum amount of plasma to be injected into the warp nacelles to activate them and create a warp field, and as you go faster the fraction of the plasma which is “warp” plasma increases until it composes all the plasma going to the warp coils.

  15. Actually, the damn kids today have progressed to “Pwned” (pronounced “Poned”). Feel free to use that as a come back, assuming Wil doesn’t read the comments here to trace it back to me.

    My 13 year old girls have told me that “pwned” is so last year already.

    Nick

  16. Yeah, we’re on to qwned now. Rwned is just around the corner.

  17. niZmO_Man

    A fine treknobabble battle there, I’d say you did get “owned”

    Oh it’s pronounced “pawned”, pwned is actually a typo of “owned”, but gets used when you get owned harder then “owned”, hence you use “pwned”

  18. PerryG

    Phil,

    Did you check the history on that Wikipedia entry to make sure Wil didn’t get there FIRST???

    Just a thought, although I trust Wil not to be that underhanded…

  19. GDwarf

    “P-owned” is how one pronounces Pwnd (or pwned).

    After all, it’s based off of “owned”, not “awned”.

  20. Yoshi_3up

    @GDwarf:

    Or just pronouncing it like “Pawn”.

    Oh well. You can still “own” fearmongering sites such as TU24.org. :D

  21. drow

    wil’s got moxie.

  22. Bryn

    @ Pyracantha

    Just for the record, don’t blame it Skepchick. It was a Rational Response Squad ad.

  23. Do you think Hollywood has unfairly typcast Chewbacca? You never see him in any other movies.

  24. gopher65

    I was under the impression that all of the energy produced by a Starship (the Federation ones anyway) ultimately came from their fusion reactors.

    The Bussard collectors collect Hydrogen or Deuterium, then the fusion reactors use it to make energy. The excess energy that is created while the ship is at impulse is used to power “anti-matter generators” which create anti-matter. This anti-matter is stored in anti-matter containment pods until needed. When needed it is shunted to the anti-matter reactor, turned into “warp plasma” (which just means it gets heated up I suppose), and used to power the devices that are too energy intensive for a mere fusion reactor to power.

    This explains things like how it takes then multiple hours to completely recharge their shield capacitors with their fusion reactors alone, but they can do it in ~ a minute with their warp core.

    It also explains why the Enterprises and Voyager spent so much time at impulse instead of just travelling at warp all the time. They were refuelling themselves using their fusion reactors, and presumably catching more gas for their reactors.

  25. Lledowyn

    Well gee, if the “scientists” can’t get it right about Dilithium Crystals, how can we expect them to get anything else right? ;-)

  26. Quiet_Desperation

    My 13 year old girls have told me that “pwned” is so last year already.

    Does it matter? Star Trek is so last century.

    Man, we need a new SF franchise. The current ones are all old and rusty and tired.

    And it’s pronounced “pone”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pwn

    This is what we get for allowing teenagers to drive the culture bus, by the way.

  27. Michael Lonergan

    IMHO, “Battlestar Galactica” PWN’s them all.

  28. Grand Fromage

    Ha. Everyone knows the turbines are used to generate a wide, rotating magnetic field for collecting interstellar hydrogen for the M/A reactor. It probably involves tachyons too, and some sort of polarity being reversed somewhere.

  29. Jeff Fite

    @ Michael:

    Indeed! Note the BA’s subtle acknowledgment of BSG’s pwnership by his use of “frak and feldergarb!” [sic] (I believe those are spelled ‘frack’ and ‘felgercarb’–but I’m not as sure about that noun serving as a substitute for “excrement.”

    Regarding the antimatter ratio: Robert Forward was a big fan of antimatter as a fuel for spacecraft, but he didn’t use it (in his fiction) for FTL, but as a highly efficient “chemical” fuel. Magnetic containment fields held a tiny bit of antimatter. Any convenient reaction mass–probably water, but literally anything would do–got sprayed into a (magnetic) reaction chamber along with a tiny spritz of the antimatter. The heat from the annihilation vaporizes the reaction mass, and scoots you right along. In this scenario, the “antimatter ratio” is very small.

    IIRC, the ST:TNG technical manual suggested that the impulse engines worked in a manner quite similar to this.

  30. OtherRob

    >>Let’s say you’re taking a cruise from Earth to another star system, and you want to make all your food (a person needs about 3kg total of food and water per day) out of interstellar hydrogen. That means 3kg of hydrogen per person<<

    Edmund, does that 3kg/day figure take reuse/recycling of water and food into account?

    Thanks.

  31. Charles

    I completely agree with Michael Lonergan a couple of posts above.

    I used to love Star Trek, that is, until the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica came on the air. It’s just a much more realistic and gritty show. On Star Trek, almost everyone is so damned noble that it’s beyond caricature. Except for Zefram Cochran, of course…but not really. Battlestar Galactica’s characters are conflicted, and have pains, sorrows and hidden agendas.

    Best of all, on Galactica, they don’t have some engine mechanic betting everyone’s lives and the fate of the ship on some theoretical but hitherto not-proved-even-in-the-lab treknobabble physics idea that sounds more half-baked than “Dude Where’s My Car.” Instead, people die, battles occur and more often than not the resolution is by the skin of their teeth and doesn’t leave them better than before. The ship’s damaged and won’t usually be magically repaired in time for the next episode, and neither are the characters.

    Star Trek has almost as much as their disregard for for economics as they do physics. Like energy, apparently there is such an overabundance of resources that there isn’t much need for money. Except of Deep Space Nine, of course. Materiale is free. Labor, free. Nothing seems valuable, except for dilithium crystals. And why can’t they just replicate dilithium crystals the way they do a cup of coffee or an appetizing plate of slithering Klingon worms? For that matter, a starship? Heck — people.

    Ron Moore used to write for Star Trek, and I think he fixed many of the mistakes of that show when he pulled out the campy-cheesy-awful original BSG and made it something more like what humans would really be like. I’ll miss it when it finishes once and for all, that’s for sure.

  32. Quiet_Desperation

    IMHO, “Battlestar Galactica” PWN’s them all.

    I love me some new BG, but it still suffers from the problem the original had: it’s about running away. Yes, they turn and fight from time to time, but it’s still a ultimately a death march. A very nicely done death march, but still not the sort of thing to become the next franchise standard bearer about a hopeful future.

    I guess I’m more Campbellian in my SF tastes. A perfect archetype would be Niven & Pournelle’s “Footfall”. Aliens with overwhelming technology come and dominate Earth, only to be overthrown by those plucky humans and their diehard inventiveness. They defeat the bad guys and get an interstellar drive as booty. No Macbooks loading viruses to alien computers here. It’s hard work and sweat and secrecy and gaming the aliens and end swith a cobbled together space warship that spits nuclear bombs, X-ray lasers and pure determination. It’s beautiful, man, just beautiful. :-)

    The Man/Kzin Wars series of books is another example: humanity facing up to a superior foe. Now there’s an idea for a series. I’d love to see some of Niven’s “Known Space” universe realized on the screen if the right people did it.

  33. Harv

    hee hee.

    I got to meet Wil this past weekend at the Phoenix Comi-con and have to say thanks to you for posting about what a great guy he is. :)

    My husband and I greatly enjoyed talking with him and loved his performance of a chapter of his book. (we hadn’t laughed that hard in a while!)

    The best was when we told him that we were astronomers, he started geeking out at us. :D (and then apologized for it?! – really, that’s the stuff we live for!)

    Wil also said that he may have to start giving you a commission for sending people his way to buy the book. ;)

  34. OtherRob: That 3kg/day assumes no recycling. That becomes 3kg/trip with perfect recycling and free transmutation. Pick any figure in between those two.

  35. kingthorin

    All this debate about the “turbines” I’d like to put it out there that the fancy shmancy covers probably just haven’t been put on the front of the nacels (sp?) yet.

  36. Michael Lonergan

    There is talk of a “Prequel” series for Galactica, tentatively named “Caprica” that would chronicle the events of humanity’s creation of the Cylons, and their subsequent rebellion. If it follows the same grittiness of BSG, I’m sure it will be a hit.

  37. wil

    I can’t prove it, obviously, but I didn’t need to go to Wikipedia — or any other reference — to reverse Phil’s polarity.

    I’ve tried with Guinness, Whisky, Arrogant Bastard, and too many martinis to count, but I can’t kill the part of my brain that stores the technobabble and its unique brand of logic. It’s always there, like a brain crab.

  38. @Michael Lonergan:

    There is talk of a “Prequel” series for Galactica, tentatively named “Caprica” that would chronicle the events of humanity’s creation of the Cylons, and their subsequent rebellion. If it follows the same grittiness of BSG, I’m sure it will be a hit.

    Long since cancelled, I’m afraid. Might get back into development after the strike wraps up, but for now it’s dead.

  39. Thanny

    BSG is generally well-written, but the mysticism is annoying. As is the idiotic notion that humans can achieve that kind of space travel without realizing that they are just as much machines as the Cylons.

    Oh, and the episode with the “pulsar” really annoyed me, solely because of what they made this “pulsar” look like. You’d think they could consult an astronomy undergrad to figure out what a pulsar would look like up close.

  40. Michael Lonergan

    Mooney, I was wondering about that. It’s too bad, because when BSG ends it’s run it will certainly leave a void. I’ve tried watching SG Atlantis, but I just can’t get into it like BSG.

    Also, just wondering how to get my name in “blue”, so people can click on it and access my blog? Do we need to be on a list or something? I’ve really liked most of the sites I’ve clicked on. Thanks. BTW I tried filling in the box that asks for our website, but if was flagged as spam.

  41. davidlpf

    Next the BA will tell us he does not what TARDIS stands for.

  42. kebsis

    It’s totally possible that he wrote the wiki.

  43. PerryG

    @wil: Too many of us have tried and failed at that! (At least you have a decent excuse…)

  44. Sespetoxri

    @wil: And I’m quite sure that more often than not these explanations pop to the forefront of your mind when discussing actual science-type stuff as well. It must be interesting to have treknobabble running in the background when people talk about things like black hole dissipation and the existance of dark matter. Freaked me out the other day – I was watching TNG and someone one the bridge brought up Dark Matter. Can’t for the life of me remember who or which episode though.

    Oh and I bought “Happiest Days” and devoured it like I was being timed. Great work, man.

  45. “Get a life!” – William F. Shatner

    …And did you happen to get J.J. Abrams number from Wheaton during this incessant banter, so you could sign over the movie rights to your book to him, or did you forget?

    See people! This is what going to Florida for TAM5.5 and geeking out with even geekier folks does to you!

  46. wotthe7734

    “Poned”? As in “corny”?

  47. I cannot believe I’m posting on the same blog as Wil Wheaton. I’m star-struck. All I need now is for William Shatner to post here and my life will be complete….. sigh

  48. Glenn

    They are Darkmatter ram scoops of couse.

  49. DB

    They are gyroscopes. How else would you turn a starship without wasting massive amounts of fuel?

  50. Tony Rusi

    Come on! Why don’t you do something real, and useful like denigrate Bussard’s polywell fusion reactor? It has to thermalize in steady state operation doesn’t it?

  51. Israel Biggerstaff

    @Michael Lonergan: I was cleaning my office today and came across a picture of “Michael Lonergan”, then I get online and start reading digg and come across a link to this page and start reading the comments… low and behold I see your name here!

    So, would you be the Michael Lonergan that grew up in Washington State and would know who I am?

    If so, loooooong time no see!

  52. Michael Lonergan

    @Israel, no it’s not me. I grew up near Washington, though. (Squamish, BC, near Vancouver! :) )

  53. Israel Biggerstaff

    @Michael, sorry you are not you! Well, anyways, not the you I know! Kinda weird though, the one I went to high school with was located a bit north of Seattle – that’s a pretty close proximity to Vancouver BC.

    Maybe one of you is the matter version and one is the anti-matter version and we have some strange warp field fenomenon going on here. Or, maybe it’s one of those parallel universe episodes. LOL, anyways, thanks for the response!

  54. Nigel Depledge

    Dang! And I thought those spinny things were there to make Enterprise look cool!

  55. The question is . . . when was the entry for dilithium crystals last edited?
    http://www.spymac.com/details/?2331523

  56. Is it said that I knew that without having to look it up?

  57. zach

    lol. pwned by crusher. i love it! nice blog btw.

  58. guy

    Wait just a second here… If you go back to the early episodes of the original series, it was stated several times that the main function of the nacells is to intake Hydrogen. Yes Hydrogen really does roam free in space and yes it would make an excellent source of energy, but how on earth would you compress it into a usable state of high purity? You’d need some kind of compressor to cram all the hydrogen together… like a turbine or something.

    Besides, it could be a spinning magnetically assisted warp infusion vortex created by the turbines… exotic metals spinning within an ionized tachyon field or something… its the 24th century, let your imagination go wild a little huh?

  59. StarKiller

    Apparently, “Caprica” is on the strike-induced production short list since it has a finished script ready to go.

  60. Robert A

    Wow, I didn’t know those were turbines to begin with. I always thought those were just pretty lights caused by the rotating fields ionizing gasses and this gave the impression of turbines – my bad.

    Well, if they are turbines, isn’t it possible that they would have uses outside gathering hydrogen from space and nebulae? The enterprise does dip into the upper atmosphere of planets sometimes and later ships such as the Voyager set down on planets. In such thick atmospheres wouldn’t something more than thrusters be needed to steer and propel the ship? Perhaps really big thrusters or, as we call them today, turbine engines?

  61. grodius

    well… i knew that already.

    wtf else would a dilithium crystal be for

  62. Actually, according to the Trek Wiki: A nacelle is an outboard structure on starships which houses the warp coils, necessary components of warp flight. The warp coils create a subspace displacement field, which ‘warps’ the space around the vessel allowing it to “ride” on a spatial distortion, and travel faster than the speed of light. (ENT: “Cold Front”) While not always present on starships, warp nacelles are the most common component of warp flight, dating as far back as Zefram Cochrane’s original warp ship, the Phoenix, circa 2063.

    Additionally, the fronts of the nacelles also contain Bussard ramscoops,
    collectors for hydrogen elements in the wild of space that are used in creating the deuterium for the matter/antimatter reaction.

    Bussard collectors are a type of technology used by Starfleet to use magnetic fields to collect interstellar gas molecules for use as fuel. Since the most common free gas in the universe is hydrogen, this is the usual substance collected. Hydrogen is then taken from the Bussard collectors and enriched into deuterium or tritium for fuel use and then Starfleet tankers are used to transport it.
    http://startrek.wikia.com/wiki/Bussard_ramscoop

    So you’re both wrong!

  63. spencenaz

    The spinny things are on the Enterprise because someone thought they were cool looking. Hollywood RARELY does anything because it is scientifically accurate (because to most of the viewing audience it is B.O.R.I.N.G.), so they do things that look or sound cool.

    This is just another one of those.

    That being said, the thing that I haven’t seen anyone jump on yet is that the Enterprise from the original Star Trek (also the one from the new movie) is an early model of the Enterprise. In other words it’s like Enterprise v 1.0. Version 1.0s usually lead to advances in technology and become 2.0s and 3.0s, etc. The Enterprise that “Mr Crusher” was on was a D model if memory serves me. So, in other words like v4.0.

    Isn’t it feasible that the v1.0 Enterprise didn’t handle the dilithium the same way that the v 4.0 did? Maybe they made turbine things in v 1.0 because it was designed originally by Boeing and that’s all they knew. Then after they transferred the contract to Northrop Grumman for the C and D model they noticed the error of Boeing’s ways and completely redesigned the whole power plant. Just my thinking. ;-)

  64. We will abandon support for Enterprise V4.5 and below as of Monday, February 4th, 2008. All users are encouraged to upgrade to Enterprise 5.0 as soon as possible.

    Update: Make that Enterprise 5.01.

    Update: New users should download Enterprise 5.01 Patch 2.

    Update: There are security problems with Enterprise 5.01 Patch 2. Certain areas of the shielding could permit malevolent Borg entry. Users are encouraged to download Enterprise 5.1, which corrects this situation.

  65. Patrick

    Those are turbines? I though they were fly spinner rims.

  66. John

    All nice bis on the technobabble, BUT….

    Devil’s in the detains, as has been said before.

    The M/AM ratio in the warp core CANNOT be 1:1, ever. Remember what a M/AM reaction is – the COMPLETE CONVERSION of both masses to energy in equal amounts. At a ratio of 1 matter to 1 antimatter, you are left with pure energy – something that in our universe anyway cannot exist as a entity by itself – it’s always expressed in matter of some form. In the Tekverse that form is in “warp plasma” – some form of matter (from much of the babble done elsewhere, the starting stock of mass is deuterium – H2) – of that is so, AND a plasma being a ionized gas, we can presume that the “warp plasma” is superheated monatomic hydrogen. We don’t know if the system recirculates the hydrogen or not – nothing is ever said to that effect in the series. Either way, some further generation of the “plasma” is needed to offset losses that will happen in ANY system – and since a 1:1 ratio of M/AM mix leaves no matter at all as a aide product, the ratio CANNOT be 1:1.Else the initial warp plasma charge would dwindle to nothing over time – Third law of Thermodynamics applies here, especially when you’re dealing with things you’d normally only have at the core of a sun. Remember, M/AM reactions are 200% efficient – the mass of BOTH is converted to energy.

    As the whole “Bussard ramjet” scenario – that bit of babble I’m afriad is the result of someone throwing around buzzwords. A Bussard ramjet field by definition is symmetrical – and if implemented on any ship shown in Treek to date would bisect the hull, with effects I’d best leave to your imaginations. Not to mention it’s a electromagnetic phenomena, and confined to the speed of light as magnetic phenomena are.

    Just some things to think about.

  67. Dan Ratliff

    Whats the matter with Pyracantha? Why is an ad promoting truth instead of fairy tales obnoxious?

  68. Zen Galacticore

    Even Heisenberg didn’t understand quantum physics. He knew perfectly well that if even one electron in a biological organism re-materialized in the wrong position after having been transported on a sub-atomic level from one place to another, the result would be a recently dead glob of flesh.
    Hence the famous ‘compensators’, which no one in that horrible “TNG” ever bothered to critically talk about, and all of whom acknowledged that they didn’t understand it.

  69. Clem

    The spinning fan thing’s are spinning x-ray transmitters to power up the bussard scoop super carbon magnet in front of the nacells after the matter flow gets fast enough the proton flow powers the magnet the faster the ship goes the larger the field gets without useing any more of the ships power it does this by electron spin in the carbon

  70. Clem

    The warp plasma is some kind of k-particle mix

  71. Clem

    The atoms in interstellar space are about one atom every centimeter one in four helium and three in four hydrogen and one dust particle in a 100 centimeters this adds up to about one milligram of matter if a magnetic field goes out to about 10 to 12 miles wide moving at the speed of light. The bussard scoop is mostly used for mass energy conversion into mirror matter or production of antimatter.

  72. Clem

    Sorry thats one milligram of matter in about 24 hrs at the speed of light with a 10 to 12 mile magnetic field.

  73. Clem

    Deuterium has to be carried because as the ship goes faster it becomes easer to produce more antimatter and the warp coils need one on one to produce the gamma ray burst to power the warp coils and deuterium on earler ships where also used for fusion along with anti-protons as a supercharger.

  74. Clem

    Electromagnetic phenomena is not confined to the speed of light if it is coming out of a sub space field or a time space field that is moving faster than light.

  75. Clem

    The boussard collector on a warp drive works in two ways it collects particles and is also part of the way space is warped so the magnetic drag is not the same as in normal space. And it is in relativistic mechanics belive it or not.

  76. Clem

    Warp plasma is not a normal ionized gas it has both matter and anti-matter in a stable form like k-particles or positroneum . Positroneum has an electron and a positron revolving around each other. K-particle has other particle mixed in like a chain to make it stable. The thing is they only stay stable for a very short time. On star trek they know how to make it stable for a very long time. The warp plasma is used to produce very large gamma ray burst in the warp coil chamber to produce the warp field in nested pulses. The remaining gamma rays and particle exit the chamber and do produce a kind of thrust but at a lot faster than the ship because it comes out of a warp field. The warp core produces warp plasma from matter and anti-matter. The anti-matter is produced from the bussard collector. The faster the ship goes the more anti-matter is produced. When particles move at near light speed they gain enough mass energy to produce anti-matter when they come to a sudden stop. At 10 times the speed of light the bussard collectors produces 100 times the anti-matter not counting the space warp in front of the ship which changes the energy balance which will produce a lot more plus the expanding magnetic field in front of the ship which will produce a lot more. As for the magnetic field slowing the ship down the magnetic field is part of the warp system. The magnetic field is needed to off balance the warp field that makes the ship go faster than light the magnetic drag is not the same as a ship without a warp drive system. In this way the magnetic field is not limited to the speed of light. And also anything coming out of the warp field is going faster than light for a short time. The particles do not bisect the hull because they never get to it the force field deflects them and most end up in the bussard collectors. The deuterium- H2 in the form of a liquid metal is stored on the ship for fusion and to help make the warp plasma. This is the other part of the 1 to 1 ratio. The force fields are made up of differed kinds of plasma close to the ship with electromagnetic fields on the hull of the ship. Now as for the bussard ramjet scenario that bit of babble does not have to be symmetrical. If you made a super conducting carbon magnetic powered by x-rays you could produce differed shapes in the magnetic field.

  77. Clem

    Does anyone agree or disagree with me I like putting some facts in with startrek I would like someone to tell me why I am wrong or right.

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