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Star Trek Physics?

  1. Dec 28, 2007 #1
    Wow, From current experiments and theory; the idea of a cloaking device may be a reality.
    This leads me to the question; is there research in other areas of the so called "Star trek Physics" i.e. force fields etc?
     
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  3. Dec 28, 2007 #2

    George Jones

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    You should take a look at the book The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2007 #3
    Thanks Mr. Jones I'll download it now.
     
  5. Dec 28, 2007 #4
    Physics of Star Trek is good but way out of date!

    The answer is yes, virtually everything on Star Trek has been contemplated as real technology.

    There are several theoretical models for warp drives. Many unresolved theoretical problems remain (the problem is not simply engineering or scale) so this will likely require a rather fundamental leap in known theory.

    Experiments in quantum teleportation are ongoing. A transporter may well be possible for inanimate matter. Transporting humans is extremely problematic and may well forever be deemed unethical due to the fact that the original is destroyed.

    Directed energy weapons, my understanding, have been in development for some time and almost certainly will be deployed within most peoples' lifetimes. Reagan's Star Wars program supposedly was going to use lasers to knock out nuclear warheads.

    I am not aware of anything specifically relating to force fields.

    Photon Torpedos are not going to be happening anytime soon due to the enormous cost of making antimatter. But, if a cheap supply of antimatter is devised or discovered, you can bet that antimatter will be incorporated into weaponry. This is one of the most terrifying prospects of modern physics; antimatter weapons would leave no fallout, and therefore a frightened power may be more inclined to use them in a first strike than with nuclear weapons. If all nuclear fuel were replaced gram for gram with antimatter, there'd probably be enough energy to turn the Earth into an asteroid belt!

    Oh let's see, what else. Holodecks are definitely going to be a reality this century, as will cloaking devices (very similar idea). We probably would not be able to touch a hologram anytime soon, but the visual aspects of the holodeck are not that far from reality. As for a cloaking device, this too will probably happen pretty soon. Microscopic projection devices like DLP chips, if they could be miniaturized even further, would be ideal candidates for such a device. A subject could be shrouded in a fabric of interwoven projectors and cameras which would retransmit incoming light in a straight line in the opposite direction.

    100 years from now, I boldly predict that we won't be talking about whether the technology on Star Trek can be replicated, but whether humans can become omnipotent like Q. :)
     
  6. Dec 28, 2007 #5
    What about Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis? Obviously, it's another sci-fi series, but the technology of the "Ancients," is very different, maybe even more advanced than Star Trek.
     
  7. Dec 29, 2007 #6
    Hello peter0302 thanks for your kind and friendly reply. I now see that there is lots of work that can be done in physics. I think I will remain a physics major. Thanks for your help.
     
  8. Dec 29, 2007 #7

    George Jones

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    There is a revised, updated, 2007 edition.

    This thread and this thread, and references in them, talk about warp drive and its problems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2007
  9. Jan 19, 2008 #8
    Can i ask a quick question,
    most of the promblems that stop FTL travel seems to be that the closer to the speed of light you get the more energy it takes to acelerate hence making it almost impossible to reach.
    however all these problems are caused by the fact that we are inside our space-time that the laws of physics apply to.
    so why dont we take a page out of the Star Trek and Stargate books and go outside it.
    unfortunatly i have neither the excpertise or qualifications to say how but surely it is possible to leave it and then re-enter hence making the trip alot faster that it would to travel inside space time.
     
  10. Jan 19, 2008 #9

    ZapperZ

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    If you're trying to circumvent the laws that we know of, then why stop there? Why not simply make things up?

    The problem here is that, we can't! If you can claim that in another world, our laws don't work, or work the same way, then you also have no way of knowing HOW such a thing will function. So how would we know we'd be the same being in that world, and able to "come out" the other side back into this world. Since we're just making things up, then I can make things up too, and I can speculate that your body will fractionalize different properties of your body will have different dispersive laws in that other world. You'll never get back.

    This is the problem with making speculation like this. It leads to pointless discussion that solves nothing, and which is why we prohibit such a thing in our PF Guidelines.

    Zz.
     
  11. Jan 19, 2008 #10

    CompuChip

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    Forget about "almost". Also, if this explains most of the problems, maybe the rest of comes from the fact that time would dilate infinitely and length would contract infinitely. But hey, that's just details.

    To go "outside our spacetime" firstly supposes that there even exists something outside our spacetime (for which, AFAIK there is no evidence of, nor need for).

    On the upside, if Einstein was wrong and we are not stuck to Lorenz invariance, we could make so much more theories! :biggrin:
     
  12. Jan 19, 2008 #11
    Im sorry that i broke into speculation but surely thats how really theories start. phasers in star Trek in the 60s was probably seemed as far fechted as we know think FTL drives are and now we can blow up missiles using lasers attached to planes.
    Science isnt really about what we know but what we dont. i admit im young and bearly understand many of the theories that we use to explain our universe and im doing well if i get the jist of a simple peice of calculus.
    the very reason i joined this site was to expand my horizons and be able to discuss with all seriousness ways to travel between stars and create vast amounts of energy that can be used to power the planet with minimal impact to it.
    with this in mind can i rephrase my question?
    what then is a viable way, even theoreticaly to travel between stars without having to resort to generation ships or stasis pods.
     
  13. Jan 19, 2008 #12

    CompuChip

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    Admittedly history has proven that science can evolve really fast, making possible things that nobody imagined even several years ago. But special and general relativity, which prohibit FTL travel, have proven so successful that nobody really doubts their correctness anymore.

    For some feasible and theoretical options, you could consult this page.
     
  14. Jan 19, 2008 #13
    So asuming that even the like of Zero point energy (if it could be utilized) could not propel a craft fast than the speed of light because it requires an infinate amount of energy.
    therefore why dont we just use nature as our guide. Wormholes. yes there unstable but they follow the laws of physics and hence are predicatble.
    also the problems of time might noly be caused because of a lack of energy something we may be able to provide it with enough to get a person or even a ship through.
     
  15. Jan 19, 2008 #14

    ZapperZ

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    Can you point to me an example of a "wormhole" that we currently have that we can test this?

    Zz.
     
  16. Jan 19, 2008 #15
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole
    take particular note of the part about Transverable wormholes
    yes it is miles away from what we can currently do but they are theoretically possible.
     
  17. Jan 19, 2008 #16

    ZapperZ

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    Since you're new here, let me clarify that I'm not someone you want to use a wikipedia article on. I do not consider that to be a valid reference.

    Secondly, I asked for an example of a worm hole that we can use to verify such a thing. You are attempting to use a "wormhole" as if this is something we already know of and already verified, very much like using a superconductor, for instance, to do things. That is why I asked for an example of one.

    Thirdly, there are a gazillion things that are "theoretically" possible that never amounted to anything. The physics journals are littered with them.

    Zz.
     
  18. Jan 19, 2008 #17
    okay lets try taking this in a diffrent direction. why dont we look at direct energy weapons (phasers basically).
    we know that the US military can use lasers mounted on planes to blow up missles surly then these weapons are more effective than the projectile based weapons we use at the moment. so why arn't we??
     
  19. Jan 19, 2008 #18

    ZapperZ

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    What does this have anything to do with what you were talking about?

    As to why we're not using such things, you need to ask the military.

    Zz.
     
  20. Jan 19, 2008 #19

    mheslep

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    History channel aired in 2005 a bit called 'How William Shatner Changed the World' thats fairly funny. The foreground is Shatner driving around LA in a convertible boasting about how he invented the technology of the modern world; he's mastered the art of self mockery so it all goes well. The background consists of some interesting interviews with various engineers and physicists - a Motorola engineer who was at least a little inspired by Trek's communicator and so on.
     
  21. Jan 20, 2008 #20

    f95toli

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    Because lasers that are powerfull enough to actually destroy something are very big, very expensive, and have very limited range.
    Basically, any "energy based" weapon (LASER, MASER etc) will have a very limited range when used within the atmosphere. Also, if the enemy knew the frequency they could quite easily neutralise the beam by simply using something cover the target with something that is very reflective in that frequency range (for many lasers a simple mirror would do).
    They might be useful in space but so far we haven't had a war is space (but I am sure that will happen some day...)
     
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