Saturday, November 14, 2015

Star Trek Tech

The 2009 "Star Trek" reboot has gotten good reviews across the board and brings in new fans to the series but has driven some hardcore fans away due to its alternate timeline.  Many of the film's plot points, however, stay true to the original "Star Trek" technology.  One piece of technology that seemed to be accurate is the classic warp drive.  The warp drive is an all important plot device in this film, without the warp drive, the U.S.S. Enterprise would not be able to make it to other planets in the timely manner that it does.  The warp drive allows the Enterprise to travel to far reaching planets and systems in a fraction of the time that it would usually take, the physical limitations without the warp drive are too daunting and the plot of "Star Trek" would be nonexistent without it.  If there was no warp drive, it would take several years, decades and centuries to travel to Alpha Centauri alone. Thanks to the warp drive, U.S.S. Enterprise and other Star Fleet spacecraft can travel several light years in a matter of days or possibly weeks by traveling beyond the speed of light.  Time dilation would be a factor however, the people on the moving Star Fleet ships would age much slower in comparison to the people or creatures on Earth and the planets that they visit since they are traveling well beyond the speed of light.  
Another piece of technology that is central to the plot of "Star Trek"would be the transporter.  The transporter is not really explained but from what I can tell it transports a person or object in a fixed position to another fixed position on a specific transporter pad.  This technology is important to the plot of the film because in several seems it allows the main characters to avoid certain death in an instant.  This is also a plot device for getting Kirk back on the Enterprise and bring Scotty in as a central character due to his equations involving transporting during warp.  This technology would be needed to warp crew members to and from the Enterprise in time sensitive situations such as the rescue on Volcan or beaming Kirk and Sulu during free fall.  Physical limitations would be having to manually travel to the surface of the planet or trying to catch up with a ship during warp which is virtually impossible (at least until "Star Trek: Into Darkness")
It is hard to say whether or not these two types of technologies would be possible outside of science fiction.  Warp drive technologies may be a possibility in the distant future as interstellar space travel becomes more of a necessity but the feasibility of transporter capabilities is low at best.  I do not see a terrible amount of money or time being spent into de-materializing and materializing an organism or object from one place to another.  Not only would this be incredibly dangerous but it would also be wasteful if sufficient transport abilities already exist.  I also do not see the threat of space miners creating a singularity in the center of a planet as a realistic threat in the real world.  That being said, this technology would be useful but finding out how to create it (if at all possible) would not be worth it.

1 comment:

  1. So, the interesting thing about the warp drive is that it's not the Enterprise that is moving through space faster than the speed of light. It is that the space around the Enterprise is warping, with the space in front shrinking, and the space behind expanding. Thus, the crew is able to avoid issues of time dilation and infinite energy required to travel the speed of light.

    If you search the web, you should be able to find explanations for how the transporters are supposed to work. The idea is that you transform the matter making up an object into energy, transport the energy at the speed of light, then convert the energy back into matter. One of the main problems is how to store all the information required to exactly reconstruct a living object.