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Hence the science in science fiction

February 20, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

So, the other day I talked about Mr. Jerkface McJackass (William Edelstein) scientist and his supposed hatred for the Star Trek universe. Apparently my last post was not snarktastic enough because when I finished I was still seething with nerd rage. It’s time to take the only action I can, make up excuses for the series to explain away any and all criticism that may be volleyed against it. It’s time for another thought exercise.

The most obvious way around this problem would be shielding. Space is full of radiation floating around and bumping into stuff. The atmosphere and magnetosphere protects us from a large majority of it, but once you break gravities death like grip and enter the cosmos, that protection goes away. Any space ship would need a way to shield its crew from this radiation.  Proposals for a future moon base include plans for a metal shielding on all of the structures, as well as an inner “safe” room that has a layer of water as extra shielding from particularly bad radiation storms and solar flares. We can safely assume that the ship builders of the Star Trek universe would understand this and would put a particularly heavy hull on the Enterprise.

If you want to enter a world of pure imagination, you can even slap of layer unobtanium on there, assuming that you can afford the cost and assuming that the Trek universe and the Avatar universe are one and the same. At the very least you can assume that the Trek universe and The Core universe are one and the same. This would actually be quite comforting because you can then just ignore any other squiffy physics.

If this isn’t enough, we can try another tactic. From what we know previously, the large hadron collider has made anti-hydrogen. What if the Enterprise uses technology from the LHC to make anti-hydrogen to cancel out any hydrogen beams that it would encounter during warp speed? This would probably take a huge amount energy, but, then again, so would warp speed travel. No doubt that this wouldn’t be able to get rid of all the hydrogen, so you would need the shielding anyhow. It’d be like using noise cancelling headphones on an awesomely massive scale.

There’s two options, one of which is completely plausible. Nay! Necessary. The other is plausibly possible. I mean, considering that they can beam shit up and all. The last one is a little out there. I’m thinking of a hydrogen scoop. Instead of ramming into the compressed hydrogen, the ship would collect it up, tunneling it through uninhabited parts of the ship. Think of a baleen whale scooping up krill, kind of the same thing. If necessary, the ship could even use this hydrogen to power the ship’s engines. I’m not sure if this is a technically feasible possibility, though. It does sound like a cool futuristicy thing that could be possible.

Doubtless Mr. Rodenberry had considered all of these things when creating the universe. Too bad he’s dead and we can’t ask him otherwise I’m sure he’d have some words to say to Mr. Edelstein.

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