The technology of Star Trek, albeit usually governed by the drama and sometimes misused as a mere plot device with arbitrary characteristics, may be more scientifically correct and consequential than it seems at the first glance. The following article is an attempt to further elucidate warp travel, one of the most popular concepts. It is trivial but important to note that suspending disbelief is the key to accept and understand fictional technology. Anyone who applies criteria like “warp drive is impossible because subspace doesn’t exist” will probably never enjoy science fiction.
This will be a comprehensive treatise on all the effects seen in the show, the underlying Trek-specific principles as well as related real science. Only the introduction, chapter 1 and the appendix are finished thus far, chapters 3 and 6 are available as incomplete drafts.
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Preemptive FAQ: Why am I doing this? Well, you should read my statement of motivation and purpose for STM; I’m doing it to learn some of the finer points about modern web programming languages, even if I don’t want to use them for the entire site... yet.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: FTL Travel
- Real Physics and Interstellar Travel
- Hypothetical FTL Concepts
- Chapter 2: Hypothetical FTL Concepts
- Folding/Wrinkling/Compressing Space
- Hyperspace Conduits and Wormholes
- Other FTL Concepts
- Chapter 3: Subspace
- What is Subspace?
- Subspace Models
- Subspace Fields and Warp Fields
- Subspace Technology
- Subspace Phenomena
- Chapter 4: History of Warp Propulsion
- Vulcans and Romulans
- Cochrane’s First Warp Flight (2063)
- 22nd Century
- 23rd Century
- 24th Century
- Voyager’s Experimental Drives
- Possible Future Developments
- Chapter 5: Warp Technology
- Power Generation and Transfer
- Warp Field Generation
- Other Warp Propulsion
- Chapter 6: Warp Speed Measurement
- Concept of Warp Factors
- TOS Scale (22nd/23rd Century)
- TNG Scale (24th Century)
- Conjectural Future Scale
- Chapter 7: Appendix
- Fundamental Constants
- Other Useful Values
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