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Oakminster
06-29-2009, 03:01 PM
Could be that I just don't have enough science mojo to grok the obvious answer, however, I seem to almost recall something about people travelling at light speed or faster should age slower than people that aren't moving that quickly. If this is true, then while Kirk (who would so kick Picard's ass, because Picard was a wimp) was warping around the galaxy, he and his crew should stay young, while the folks back on Earth should age quickly...from Kirk's perspective.

I don't recall this ever coming up in an actual episode of ST, TNG, DS9, Voyager, or That Show with the Puppy. Is there some techno-bable loophole invented for the show, a real explanation, or did they just ignore the problem?

friedo
06-29-2009, 03:10 PM
Well, one important aspect that you overlooked is that relativity tells us that faster-than-light travel is completely impossible for anything with a nonzero mass (like a spaceship.) Whenever the Enterprise is at warp, they are going faster than light. So this kinda throws everything we know about relativity out the airlock. So there's no reason to assume that relativistic time dilation would happen.

BrainGlutton
06-29-2009, 03:13 PM
They travel at the speed of plot. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot) That is all.

silenus
06-29-2009, 03:13 PM
It wouldn't matter even if it did happen (much). With warp technology, they are effectively "outside" of relativity.

fiddlesticks
06-29-2009, 03:17 PM
"Impulse power" is sub-light speed...though time dilation never was discussed to my recollection. But "warp speed" involves putting a bubble of magic around the ship which means that the ship is no longer in normal space, ergo, Einstein's rules no long apply. Easy-peasy!

kenobi 65
06-29-2009, 03:20 PM
It's not at all uncommon for sci-fi movies or TV shows to use some plot device, like warp drive / hyperspace / what have you to get around the problems that relativity (and the impossibility of FTL travel) place on most sci-fi stories that deal with interstellar travel.

Many "hard" sci-fi authors deal with interstellar travel in a more realistic manner, but it's the rare TV series or movie that does so.

Ephemera
06-29-2009, 03:44 PM
"Impulse power" is sub-light speed...though time dilation never was discussed to my recollection. But "warp speed" involves putting a bubble of magic around the ship which means that the ship is no longer in normal space, ergo, Einstein's rules no long apply. Easy-peasy!

And full impulse is 0.25c, so that's a pretty significant fraction of light speed. There should still be relativistic issues.

kenobi 65
06-29-2009, 03:48 PM
And full impulse is 0.25c, so that's a pretty significant fraction of light speed. There should still be relativistic issues.

They rarely traveled very far, or for very long, at sublight speeds, so even if the issues were possible, I don't know how big they'd be.

But, ultimately, unless the relativisitic effects were integral to the plot, I imagine they would have just been ignored. Trek has never been hard sci-fi, by any stretch of the imagination.

wolfman
06-29-2009, 03:53 PM
Well They did sort of approach the issue. Roddenberry added the 'Stardate' time system as a way of keeping absolute time. Since any local planetary time would have been meaningless
"As we were going .998 Warp I went to bed at 10:59:12.001 GMT and got up at 10:59.12.002 GMT fully rested.

RealityChuck
06-29-2009, 06:09 PM
Many "hard" sci-fi authors deal with interstellar travel in a more realistic manner, but it's the rare TV series or movie that does so.Not many. There are a few, but even Hal Clement used warp drives. Otherwise, the distances of space make stories set outside the solar system impossible. Warp drives are considered a perfectly legitimate hard science way to use interstellar travel, since they are not forbidden by science.

Nowadays, "hard" sf writer still use warp drives, or have super advanced aliens come to us.

athelas
06-29-2009, 06:27 PM
And full impulse is 0.25c, so that's a pretty significant fraction of light speed. There should still be relativistic issues.But they would be very minor, and plot-insignificant. Time would pass at 0.968 of the rate of a stationary observer - something you'd have to correct for but not enough to make a big fuss about on-screen.

Tom Tildrum
06-29-2009, 06:57 PM
The Star Trek Technical Manual indicated that Starfleet directives did impose limits on impulse travel, because of the relativistic effects.

Yes, I'm that geeky. It stuck in my mind when I read it because the issue is never addressed in the actual shows.

Polycarp
06-29-2009, 07:17 PM
Granted that it is a "doubletalk drive" -- something with a glib pseudo-scientific explanationm to enable plot developments -- the warp drive transforms a starship into a self-propelled, self-enclosed space warp, la wormhole, in which the distance between two points separated by light years on a Newtonian metric is shrunk to a much smaller distance, one which may be crossed in days or weeks, without Einsteinian time contraction. Dr. Zephrem Cochrane was a genius whose analysis of the metric of space-time and practical application of theoretical constructs resulted in something that would make the stars accessible.

The actual physics of this, of course, leaves something to be desired. But if we demanded scientific precision of SF presumptions of future technology, we would not have a TV show and movies franchise produced by Paramount, but rather NASA channelling funds into the improbable.

I can remember, as a kid, reading stories where people carried micro-radiotelephones in their pockets, and could access the total of human knowledge from virtually any site by a computer terminal, Humans had gone to the Moon and landed devices to study the surface of Mars. Commercials shockingly promoted contraceptives along with detergents. Devices using concentrated beams of light for weaponry or to read nuiicrostorage records were in common use -- you might even print out data from storage using such devices. Atomic power was a major component of household energy sources. All completely bizarre, and not to be taken seriously, as though we might have such devices today.

So too with "warp drive" -- it's impossible with today's knowledge. But do not discount what may be possible with innovations working around present limitations.

Chronos
06-29-2009, 07:34 PM
Warp drives are considered a perfectly legitimate hard science way to use interstellar travel, since they are not forbidden by science....For some value of "forbidden". Any means of producing a warp drive or anything resembling it seems to require the usage of materials with negative energy density, and there's no indication that such materials exist-- If they don't, then warp drives would indeed seem to be forbidden. And regardless of how one makes an FTL device, even if it's a magic carpet or something, if special relativity is correct, then such a device could also be used as a time machine. So if you think that time travel is logically impossible due to the potential paradoces, then you have to also conclude that FTL of any sort is impossible. You could just throw out special relativity entirely, but that's not really any different, in principle, from throwing out the law of conservation of energy or the like, in which case you'd be forced to say that nothing whatsoever is forbidden by science.

FTL drives are tolerated in hard science fiction stories because of the "fiction stories" part, not because of the "hard science" part. We tolerate them because we have to, because there's no story without them.

eleanorigby
06-29-2009, 07:59 PM
I can swallow warp drive, but that whole "let's whip around the sun to go back in time" stuff was silly. We go around the sun every year. True, we don't go as fast, but seriously--traveling around the sun turns back the clock? Or do you have to travel counter-clockwise to do that? :rolleyes:




Why can't they just go AT the speed of light, instead of slower or faster than it?

Oakminster
06-29-2009, 08:02 PM
This thread was semi-inspired by a Heinlein story about telepathic twins. One twin went on a space ship, other twin stayed home. Multiple pairs of twins were split this way, as the ship was an exploratory voyage. The ship-bound twins stayed young, while the home bound twins aged normally. Think at least one guy was able to link to following generations.

There's also a short series...maybe three books...that uses relativity in economics. Can't remember the titles, think the author was F.M. Busby...something like that. The protagonists made much ballyhoo about taking "the long view" of things, considering space travel. Also think a guy known as Tregare the Pirate was a major player....

Ephemera
06-29-2009, 08:04 PM
Why can't they just go AT the speed of light, instead of slower or faster than it?

They can; warp 1 is the speed of light.

eleanorigby
06-29-2009, 08:09 PM
They can; warp 1 is the speed of light.

They almost never do Warp 1. They do Warp .5 or Warp 5 or 6, but I don't think I've heard Kirk say, "Warp factor 1, Mr Sulu."




It sure would have cut down on their dilithium crystal usage. :)

John DiFool
06-29-2009, 08:22 PM
I think going to high warp in the close vicinity of a large gravity well was what caused the going backward in time.

Kirk most certainly did order Warp 1 on several occasions-in one case IIRC to make a trip last longer for that prima donna Princess who made Kirk fall in love with her because of her tears.

Ephemera
06-29-2009, 08:23 PM
Due to the distances involved, warp 1's not going to be very useful except when travelling interplanetary distances, and most episodes involve interstellar travel.

Warp 0.5 would be twice the speed of full impulse, by the way. To the best of my knowledge, no sublight vessel can travel that fast.

MEBuckner
06-29-2009, 08:42 PM
There is a speculative notion of something called an "Alcubierre drive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive)" which works by contracting space-time in front of your ship while expanding it behind your ship; this could very well be referred to as a "warp drive", since you would in fact be warping (distorting) space. If you could actually warp spacetime in this way, then the crew of your hypothetical starship would in fact not experience time dilation.

As Chronos points out, proposals for ways of actually "contracting space-time in front of your ship while expanding it behind your ship" are roughly on a par with "a wizard does it!", so (alas) there is no reason to think the Universe will ever actually let us go gallivanting about the Galaxy at warp speeds. There's also that whole "FTL=time travel" difficulty (although to be fair to Star Trek, time travel featured repeatedly in its various incarnations).

carnivorousplant
06-29-2009, 08:44 PM
Why can't they just go AT the speed of light, instead of slower or faster than it?

It would still take years to travel to another sun.

eleanorigby
06-29-2009, 08:47 PM
Warp 0.5 would be twice the speed of full impulse, by the way. To the best of my knowledge, no sublight vessel can travel that fast.



Huh?:confused: How is 0.5 FASTER than 1.0?

Oh, wait a sec--full impulse is not the same as warp drive.

I knew that. :smack:


But I don't get your next remark: the Enterprise could travel at sublight speeds as well as warp, so are you saying any sublight ONLY vessel? Sure, I would then agree, but we weren't talking about exclusively sublight vessels, were we?

I get that the speed of light is still to slow for the distances involved, but it wouldn't be for SOME travel.

Note: Kirk did NOT fall in love with Miss Spoiled Bitch Princess With No Table Manners. He let her down easy because he didn't want to crush her spirit. He's nice like that. IMO he rarely fell in love with any of the female aliens--but he sure did enjoy them. He loved Carol Marcus, Mirramonee (spelling?), Edith Keeler (suppresses gag reflex) and maybe one other (I'm not counting alternate reality Antonia). I think he had a soft spot for his yeomen, Janice Rand ( he certainly found her attractive--I wish they had explored that a bit more in subsequent episodes). 3-4 really serious relationships spanning a 20+ year career sounds about right to me. YMMV.

carnivorousplant
06-29-2009, 09:08 PM
Edith Keeler (suppresses gag reflex)
Calm yourself. She has her good points, if one can't have Elizabeth Taylor. (http://por-img.cimcontent.net/api/assets/bin-200906/c47f416eda1e7a5347d40dc796b52236.jpg)

Of course Rebecca here is a Nice Jewish Girl, and Edith Keeler is a Shiksa, so you might have something there...

Der Trihs
06-29-2009, 09:36 PM
Well, one important aspect that you overlooked is that relativity tells us that faster-than-light travel is completely impossible for anything with a nonzero mass (like a spaceship.) Not exactly; it says you can't accelerate past lightspeed. So you also have ideas like tachyons, which never go slower than light, and the idea of somehow "jumping" past the limit without accelerating past it. And of course wormholes.

This thread was semi-inspired by a Heinlein story about telepathic twins. One twin went on a space ship, other twin stayed home. Multiple pairs of twins were split this way, as the ship was an exploratory voyage. The ship-bound twins stayed young, while the home bound twins aged normally. Think at least one guy was able to link to following generations. Time For The Stars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_for_the_Stars).

There's also a short series...maybe three books...that uses relativity in economics. Can't remember the titles, think the author was F.M. Busby...something like that. The protagonists made much ballyhoo about taking "the long view" of things, considering space travel. Also think a guy known as Tregare the Pirate was a major player....The Rissa and Tregare novels ? I don't recall much about economics, but it's been a long time.

The Other Waldo Pepper
06-29-2009, 09:44 PM
Warp 0.5 would be twice the speed of full impulse, by the way. To the best of my knowledge, no sublight vessel can travel that fast.

Wasn't that about how fast the enemy ship was going, in THE THOLIAN WEB?

"Mister Spock, a vessel approaching on an intercept vector."
"Status, Mister Sulu."
"Range, two hundred thousand kilometers. Velocity, zero point five one C."

Ephemera
06-29-2009, 09:55 PM
But I don't get your next remark: the Enterprise could travel at sublight speeds as well as warp, so are you saying any sublight ONLY vessel? Sure, I would then agree, but we weren't talking about exclusively sublight vessels, were we?

No. I was just explaining "Warp 0.5" isn't a "real" speed, and that the speed that would be isn't possible in Star Trek.

Wasn't that about how fast the enemy ship was going, in THE THOLIAN WEB?

"Mister Spock, a vessel approaching on an intercept vector."
"Status, Mister Sulu."
"Range, two hundred thousand kilometers. Velocity, zero point five one C."

..or maybe it is. The problem with programs that last this long is that there's always some bit of contradictory dialogue somewhere. :p

carnivorousplant
06-29-2009, 10:31 PM
No. I was just explaining "Warp 0.5" isn't a "real" speed, and that the speed that would be isn't possible in Star Trek.


Well, maybe if they modulated the warp coils with anti-matter neutrinos from the shield screen tachyons...

Oakminster
06-29-2009, 10:40 PM
The Rissa and Tregare novels ? I don't recall much about economics, but it's been a long time.

That sounds right. Think the economic part had something to do with collecting interest earned over decades by investing on a planet, then returning several decades later local time due to time spent at warp.

DanBlather
06-29-2009, 11:05 PM
And full impulse is 0.25c, so that's a pretty significant fraction of light speed. There should still be relativistic issues.And even that makes no sense. As long as you apply thrust you will increase your speed. It's not like there is friction or air resistance to provide a top speed. I never liked Star Trek or Star Wars or any other "science" fiction that ignores science.

Malacandra
06-30-2009, 12:10 AM
No. I was just explaining "Warp 0.5" isn't a "real" speed, and that the speed that would be isn't possible in Star Trek.



..or maybe it is. The problem with programs that last this long is that there's always some bit of contradictory dialogue somewhere. :p

And the trouble with that piece of dialogue is that long before you've finished announcing that something 200,000 km away is approaching at 0.51c, it's right next to you. :smack:

Rigamarole
06-30-2009, 12:59 AM
Well They did sort of approach the issue. Roddenberry added the 'Stardate' time system as a way of keeping absolute time. Since any local planetary time would have been meaningless

Indeed, it would be a terrible shame if any interstellar method of keeping track of dates were meaningless.

Voyager
06-30-2009, 01:09 AM
Not exactly; it says you can't accelerate past lightspeed. So you also have ideas like tachyons, which never go slower than light, and the idea of somehow "jumping" past the limit without accelerating past it. And of course wormholes.

Going at exactly light speed, unless you play with some sort of warp, has the problem that time stops and you need infinite energy for any mass. That's why photons are massless.


The Rissa and Tregare novels ? I don't recall much about economics, but it's been a long time.
I read the first one of those, but have never gotten the stomach for the second. All I remember is that Busby must have been paid by the world - in this book Ghod forbid he skips any trip to the bathroom a character makes. I don't remember if the book had Faster than Light drive, but it sure had a Slower than Life narrative style.

Voyager
06-30-2009, 01:12 AM
And even that makes no sense. As long as you apply thrust you will increase your speed. It's not like there is friction or air resistance to provide a top speed. I never liked Star Trek or Star Wars or any other "science" fiction that ignores science.

Impulse drive is clearly not a standard reaction drive, since no way are they carrying enough reaction mass to accelerate something as big as the Enterprise to 0.25 c, and nearly instantly also. The least likely thing is that the Captain can order "full stop" for a vessel moving that fast and get it.

Voyager
06-30-2009, 01:15 AM
Not many. There are a few, but even Hal Clement used warp drives. Otherwise, the distances of space make stories set outside the solar system impossible. Warp drives are considered a perfectly legitimate hard science way to use interstellar travel, since they are not forbidden by science.

Nowadays, "hard" sf writer still use warp drives, or have super advanced aliens come to us.

There are quite a few. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson is one that is all about relativity. L. Sprague de Camp had the Viajens series which explored the problems of taking years to make the trip between stars. As I understood it, he didn't believe in ftl travel and refused to put it in a story.

Rigamarole
06-30-2009, 01:23 AM
And even that makes no sense. As long as you apply thrust you will increase your speed. It's not like there is friction or air resistance to provide a top speed. I never liked Star Trek or Star Wars or any other "science" fiction that ignores science.

I guess you don't like video entertainment much at all then?

eleanorigby
06-30-2009, 10:32 AM
Calm yourself. She has her good points, if one can't have Elizabeth Taylor. (http://por-img.cimcontent.net/api/assets/bin-200906/c47f416eda1e7a5347d40dc796b52236.jpg)

She's pretty, but high, high maintenance. Not Kirk's type. He likes 'em feisty and independent.

Of course Rebecca here is a Nice Jewish Girl, and Edith Keeler is a Shiksa, so you might have something there...


Ahahah--Kirk is beyond Judaism and religion. He's a 23rd century explorer. And unlike most Jewish men, he never, ever mentions his mother and he never calls her.
;)

tagos
06-30-2009, 10:38 AM
And even that makes no sense. As long as you apply thrust you will increase your speed. It's not like there is friction or air resistance to provide a top speed. I never liked Star Trek or Star Wars or any other "science" fiction that ignores science.

The same would be said by the average middle-ager regarding stories involving aircraft let alone rocket ships.

kenobi 65
06-30-2009, 10:41 AM
I never liked Star Trek or Star Wars or any other "science" fiction that ignores science.

I've never really felt that Star Wars was properly classified as sci-fi. It's space opera, or fantasy set in space, or something like that. Lucas usually didn't even *try* to make up some technobabble to explain stuff.

eleanorigby
06-30-2009, 10:43 AM
And the trouble with that piece of dialogue is that long before you've finished announcing that something 200,000 km away is approaching at 0.51c, it's right next to you. :smack:

But perhaps they account for that--Chekov says to the Captain, " The wessel is 200,000 keelometers away at blahblahblah" having estimated that it is actually 600,000km away, but knowing that by the end of his sentence their ship will be only 200,000 km away....




I think I would love to watch ST:TOS high.* :D





*If only I did such things anymore. :(

carnivorousplant
06-30-2009, 11:47 AM
Lucas usually didn't even *try* to make up some technobabble to explain stuff.

How did the Emperor get to the delimbed Vader faster than an ambulance in rush hour traffic? :)

Don't Call Me Shirley
06-30-2009, 11:58 AM
Well, one important aspect that you overlooked is that relativity tells us that faster-than-light travel is completely impossible for anything with a nonzero mass (like a spaceship.) Whenever the Enterprise is at warp, they are going faster than light. So this kinda throws everything we know about relativity out the airlock. So there's no reason to assume that relativistic time dilation would happen.

The speed limit of c imposed by relativity is a local limitation, not a global one. The best way to decide whether something violates the speed limit is to imagine the Enterprise in a race against a photon located just off the bridge. When the Enterprise engages the warp drive, space in front of the vessel is warped, and the Enterprise travels at sub-light speed through the warped space. In this scenario, the Enterprise would lose the race with the photon, because the photon would move through the warped space created by the warp engines at light speed, beating the Enterprise to the destination.

Now, in a race with a photon that is located far enough away from the ship to be unaffected by the warp engines, the Enterprise would win. But this does not violate the speed limit.

kenobi 65
06-30-2009, 12:24 PM
How did the Emperor get to the delimbed Vader faster than an ambulance in rush hour traffic? :)

As someone said up-thread, his shuttle flew at the Speed Of Plot.

Death of Rats
06-30-2009, 03:41 PM
Well, maybe if they modulated the warp coils with anti-matter neutrinos from the shield screen tachyons...

Only if you reverse polarity on the phase inverters otherwise you will blow out EPS couduits all over the ship.

Skald the Rhymer
06-30-2009, 04:16 PM
Oak, there's simply no answer, because the laws of physics--the laws of NATURE--are different in the TrekVerse. (And if we're talking the last movie, the laws of human psychology are different too.) Time dilation is simply not an issue for them, and Albert Einstein's work is entirely different. Likewise, what we call intelligent design they call evolution. About the only thing we share with the people of that universe is the belief that Zoe Saldana looks best in miniskirts.

carnivorousplant
06-30-2009, 06:26 PM
Only if you reverse polarity on the phase inverters otherwise you will blow out EPS couduits all over the ship.

Not if you convoluted the phase modulation of the Zilch coils.

SCSimmons
07-01-2009, 08:31 AM
Impulse drive is clearly not a standard reaction drive, since no way are they carrying enough reaction mass to accelerate something as big as the Enterprise to 0.25 c, and nearly instantly also. The least likely thing is that the Captain can order "full stop" for a vessel moving that fast and get it.

Honestly, the impulse drives and even the thrusters always bugged me more than the warp drive. I mean, relativity is fairly recent, and has some conceivable loopholes. But it's hard to think of a physical law that's been better established over a longer period than Newton's Second Law of Motion. We've had to slightly tweak our definitions of momentum over time to hold onto it, but nothing's ever threatened the basic concept. As my high school physics teacher put it, "If you find that momentum isn't conserved in your system, you've made a mistake somewhere."

msmith537
07-01-2009, 08:55 AM
I should point out that if they so choose, they can travel through time if the plot requires it. So they do play pretty free and loose with the rules of physics.



My WAG is that "warp" drives literally distorts or warps space in front of the ship. So if the Enterprise is traveling from A to a star B that is 1 light year away, it actually shrinks the distance so it never actually exceeds the speed of light. But to an outside observer, it travels the distance between A and B much faster than the speed of light.

The other common sci-fi FTL conventions are "hyperspace" (like in Star Wars) where the ship leaves our universe to one where it can actually traval superluminal speeds without relativistic effects and reenters our universe at its destination or "jumping" (like Battlestar Galactica) where the ship basically folds space like a piece of paper and instantly moves from point A to point B

But basically all it amounts to is the writers need to move the ship from point A to point B. The only thing to decide is 1) how much travel time is needed and 2) how cool do they want to make the lightshow appear on screen.

tagos
07-01-2009, 08:55 AM
Honestly, the impulse drives and even the thrusters always bugged me more than the warp drive. I mean, relativity is fairly recent, and has some conceivable loopholes. But it's hard to think of a physical law that's been better established over a longer period than Newton's Second Law of Motion. We've had to slightly tweak our definitions of momentum over time to hold onto it, but nothing's ever threatened the basic concept. As my high school physics teacher put it, "If you find that momentum isn't conserved in your system, you've made a mistake somewhere."

Not with the Heisenberg Compensators working at max efficiency. ;)

RickJay
07-01-2009, 09:03 AM
What I could never understand is why they would ever travel at less than maximum warp when going from star to star. The ships never seemed to have any problem hitting Warp 8 - speeds higher than that wer sometimes presented as being hard on the engines, but Warp 8 didn't appear to be any harder than Warp 3, 4 or 5. So why would you ever go Warp 3? Just wasting time for the hell of it? I'd think Starfleet would want its battleships to be busier than that.

Now, halfway through the Next Generation series there was some lame ass episode about how high warp speeds caused some sort of interstellar environmental problems with some kind of particle fields or clouds or some sort of plot-y-ons. It was idiotic. But prior to that, and anywhere the plotyons weren't affected by warp, there was no reason to select Warp 5 instead of Warp 8. So why did they?

bup
07-01-2009, 10:10 AM
What I could never understand is why they would ever travel at less than maximum warp when going from star to star. The ships never seemed to have any problem hitting Warp 8 - speeds higher than that wer sometimes presented as being hard on the engines, but Warp 8 didn't appear to be any harder than Warp 3, 4 or 5. So why would you ever go Warp 3?Better dilithium crystal mileage.

Ephemera
07-01-2009, 11:05 AM
Better dilithium crystal mileage.

Or to preserve anti-matter stores.

Elendil's Heir
07-01-2009, 12:37 PM
The Star Trek Technical Manual indicated that Starfleet directives did impose limits on impulse travel, because of the relativistic effects....

Zog help me, I remember that too!

RickJay, no ship goes its maximum safe speed at all times. Sometimes you're not in a hurry, sometimes local navigational conditions favor a slower speed, sometimes you want to save fuel (reaction mass, deuterium, in ST terms), sometimes you just want to save wear and tear on your engines.

Voyager
07-01-2009, 01:23 PM
Not with the Heisenberg Compensators working at max efficiency. ;)

The real purpose of the Heisenberg Compensator is to keep them from randomly jumping around in their scripts.

DSYoungEsq
07-01-2009, 01:26 PM
Not with the Heisenberg Compensators working at max efficiency. ;)

Far more important are the Bergenholms. ;)

Voyager
07-01-2009, 01:27 PM
I should point out that if they so choose, they can travel through time if the plot requires it. So they do play pretty free and loose with the rules of physics.



My WAG is that "warp" drives literally distorts or warps space in front of the ship. So if the Enterprise is traveling from A to a star B that is 1 light year away, it actually shrinks the distance so it never actually exceeds the speed of light. But to an outside observer, it travels the distance between A and B much faster than the speed of light.

The other common sci-fi FTL conventions are "hyperspace" (like in Star Wars) where the ship leaves our universe to one where it can actually traval superluminal speeds without relativistic effects and reenters our universe at its destination or "jumping" (like Battlestar Galactica) where the ship basically folds space like a piece of paper and instantly moves from point A to point B

I agree with you for a couple of reasons. First, usually there is only one speed in hyperspace. Even if you have a bunch (the way I do FTL travel in my sf universe) you wouldn't have Warp 4.5. Second, they can clearly see ships in different warps from them, which you couldn't do if warp meant hopping into hyperspace. Finally, they went into emergency reverse warp to get away from the Romulan weapon in Balance of Terror. If they had hopped into hyperspace this wouldn't be a problem.

However, I think some other space is used for subspace radio. I seem to remember a particularly bad TNG episode built around alien abductions, where the aliens came from some other subspace. But it might be a nightmare some aliens planted in my mind.

Elendil's Heir
07-01-2009, 03:12 PM
The real purpose of the Heisenberg Compensator is to keep them from randomly jumping around in their scripts.

[sets up the gag]
Just how do they work, anyway?
[/sets up the gag]

bup
07-01-2009, 03:17 PM
[takes guess at the gag]
I'm really not certain.
[/takes guess at the gag]

Kamino Neko
07-01-2009, 03:20 PM
Quite well, thanks.

carnivorousplant
07-01-2009, 04:02 PM
Quite well, thanks.

Stolen from Michael Okuda, if I'm not mistaken. :)

eleanorigby
07-01-2009, 06:36 PM
Y'all have completely lost me with your pseudo-technobabble. :)

carnivorousplant
07-01-2009, 06:56 PM
Y'all have completely lost me with your pseudo-technobabble. :)

One of my course books in graduate school was written by Heisenberg, BTW. :)
I didn't understand a damn thing.


The Heisenberg Principle says you can't measure both the position and the mass of a particle. For example, you can count how long it takes to roll between two points, but to weigh it you have to stop it and put it on a scale.
So if you beam something up, you are measuring it to put it make together correctly, but the stuff is moving, like, breathing and stuff.
The"Heisenberg Compensators" well, compensate for this. Someone asked Michael Okuda who was a tech guy for TNG, "How do the Heisenberg COmpensators work?" and he responded, "Very well, thank you."

eleanorigby
07-01-2009, 07:51 PM
Isn't he the one who posited something about a cat being alive or dead or both or some such. I am home from a very long and hard day at work and my brain is only partially functioning. I also didn't have much physics in school. Cecil wrote an ode to Einstein and Heisenberg, IMS. It may not serve tonight....

I like the snappy reply re TNG guy. :)

Skald the Rhymer
07-01-2009, 07:56 PM
Isn't he the one who posited something about a cat being alive or dead or both or some such.


No. That was Erwin Schrodinger. In his thought experiment, he postulated the idea that, if a cat is placed in a sealed box with poison inside, and htat poison will be released, killing the cat, if and only if a certain quantum event occurs (I think it was whether a single atom did or did not decay), then the cat is neither alive nor dead until the box is opened to observation.

Heisenberg originated the uncertainty principle--the notion that, for sufficiently small particles (sub-atomic small, I mean), it is impossible to know both the velocity and position at a given moment with arbitrary rigor.

Strinka
07-01-2009, 08:06 PM
The Heisenberg Principle says you can't measure both the position and the mass of a particle.Position and momentum, not mass. Usually the mass of a particle is pretty well known and invariant, so it's the velocity that's uncertain.

eleanorigby
07-01-2009, 08:54 PM
No. That was Erwin Schrodinger. In his thought experiment, he postulated the idea that, if a cat is placed in a sealed box with poison inside, and htat poison will be released, killing the cat, if and only if a certain quantum event occurs (I think it was whether a single atom did or did not decay), then the cat is neither alive nor dead until the box is opened to observation.

Heisenberg originated the uncertainty principle--the notion that, for sufficiently small particles (sub-atomic small, I mean), it is impossible to know both the velocity and position at a given moment with arbitrary rigor.



Oops--sorry. I knew that (or I thought I did--I'm too tired to care tonight). None of them sound like people I'd want to have a beer with.... but then, I don't drink much beer! :D

carnivorousplant
07-01-2009, 09:13 PM
Position and momentum, not mass. Usually the mass of a particle is pretty well known and invariant, so it's the velocity that's uncertain.

Thanks, don't know why I screwed that up...I read the text book and everything. :)

Skald the Rhymer
07-01-2009, 09:35 PM
Thanks, don't know why I screwed that up...I read the text book and everything. :)

It is impossible to remember all aspects of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle correctly at one time.

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