Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

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Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 359 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:26 am

Phasers Case Study – scifights.net

I saw this video and felt like I had to write a response to it, in this Brian provides many examples, but how I see them, most of them don't present what he says they do. So I wrote this breakdown of every piece of evidence, although I get a little lazy and start grouping them in the end or refer to commonly known events. I have marked the time index of most examples in the video, again this gets lax toward the end. I am not trying to argue my point of view, although I might have in several places, I am trying to show that the evidence Brian presents in this does not actually support his hypothesis.

I try to present a summery of his argument, and my counter argument, at the end of several related examples, but as his argument circles back sometimes and it gets a little out of order. Several arguments I do not address immediately, or they do not need addressing.

So without further ado:


2:10:
Brian Young: "We'll involve the Technical Manual in this, just to clear things up, and direct us down the right path."

Here we see the premise of this case study is finding events in canon which follow the description of RNE (a.k.a. NDF) in the non-canon Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual. This is an example of Brian picking an idea and then finding a lot of examples which follow the description of that idea, but do not actually prove, support, or explain that notion in any way. The explanation comes solely from the Technical Manual, and in no way is it described in canon.

2:14:
TNG: "The Royal":

Data: "That is even more significant than the object itself councilor. On several of its surfaces the molecules seem to have disintegrated.
Riker: "Disintegrated? How?
Data: "Almost as if they were hit by a weapon from our time."


Argument: Phasers/Disruptors disintegrate instead of vaporize.

Counter: Vaporization describes disintegration on a molecular scale, due to heat. Where as RNE/NDF describes disintegration on a atomic/subatomic. Blowing the atoms themselves apart rather than separating them or separating them as molecules

3:03:
TNG: "Transfigurations":

Worf: "Sensors show trace elements in the debris that would indicate phaser fire was recently exchanged."

3:10:
TNG: "Inheritance":

Juliana: "I'm going to monitor the density of the rock layers and adjust the strength of the particle beam as we go. That should minimise the seismic stress that we generate while we're drilling."
LaForge: "Data, I reconfigured the phasers to create the most highly focused particle beam possible."
Data: "Thank you, Geordi."


Argument: Phasers are particle weapons

3:27:
TNG: "Inheritance":

Data: "The drilling process has raised the temperature in the magma pockets by almost three hundred degrees Celsius. It will be several hours before it cools enough for us to enter."

Argument: Phasers have little thermal effects

Counter: Phasers could also operate as one would expect (i.e. thermally) with one process to nullify the secondary effects. Possibly something like is mentioned around 22:00 with regards to a transporter's confinement beam.

3:45:
TNG: "Inheritance":
Data: "We are within four kilometres of the magma pocket."
LaForge: "We're picking up feedback pulses along the particle beam."
Juliana: "We must have hit a pocket of magnesite ore. I'll try to adjust the phaser harmonics to compensate."


Argument: Phasers are particle weapons.

4:05:
TNG Technical Manual:

Brian: "So in the Technical Manual on page 123, we see. Phaser energy is released throughout the application of the Rapid Nadion Effect, RNE. Rapid Nadions are short-lived subatomic particles possessing special properties relating to high-speed interactions within atomic nuclei.


4:50:
Doctor Who: "Journey's End":

Rose: "Doctor, what happened?"
Darvos: "Electrical energy, Miss Tyler. Every atom in existence is bound by an electrical field. The Reality bomb cancels it out. Structure falls apart. That test was focused on the prisoners alone. Full transmission will dissolve every form of matter."
Rose: "The stars are going out."
Doctor: "The twenty seven planets. They become one vast transmitter, blasting that wavelength."
Darvos: "Across the entire universe. Never stopping, never faltering, never fading. People and planets and stars will become dust, and the dust will become atoms, and the atoms will become nothing. And the wavelength will continue, breaking through the Rift at the heart of the Medusa Cascade into every dimension, every parallel, every single corner of creation. This is my ultimate victory, Doctor! The destruction of reality itself!"


5:40:
TNG Technical Manual:

Brian: "Also, if we move on over to page 135, talking about the personal phasers, 'As with the ship's main phasers, the greater the energy pumped into the pre-fire chamber, the higher will be the percentage of Nuclear Disruption Force created.'"[talking of the existence of NDF hypothesis]… "'At low to moderate settings Nuclear Disruption Threshold will no be crossed. Limiting the phaser discharge to stun and thermal impact resulting from simple electromagnetic effects.'"

Argument: Phasers are Rapid Nadion particle beams which disrupt the atom's structure. And phasers do not do this until their energy crosses a threshold. Excess energy is converted to waste heat.

Counter: Yet we have seen small objects be disintegrated without vapor while other objects have been heated with a quantity of thermal energy greater than it would take to melt/vaporize the disintegrated object (DS9: "The Maquis Pt II" and DS9: "Rocks and Shoals" to name a few). Additionally the particle is canonically named a 'Nadion' not a 'Rapid Nadion' as confirmed in VOY: "Time and Again":

Torres: "I'm getting nadion particle resistance from the other side."
KIM: "Increasing generator to maximum output. The generator's overloading."


The Nadions are coming from Janeway's phaser as she shoots at the fracture in an attempt to close.


7:15:
VOY: "Parturitn":

Neelix heats several rocks to a glow with his phaser.

Argument: On lower settings phasers cause thermal heating.

7:42:
TOS: "Return of the Archons":

Kirk: "Yes, Mister Spock. Let's have a look at the projector."
The blast through a rock wall with their phasers.

7:56:
DS9: "The Forsaken"

Sisko: "Phasers at maximum."
Kira: "Toranium inlay. Cardassian design. I should have guessed. We're going to need a bipolar torch to get through it."
Sisko: "Then get a message to Ops. Tell them it's going to take us a while to get inside. If they can't get the fire suppression systems online we're going to lose our people in there."


Argument: A phaser can't get through, but a torch can by using thermal effects.

Counter: Or perhaps a bipolar torch is simply more powerful than a phaser. What with it being several times a phaser's size anyway.

Argument: Phasers have an effect based on density.

Counter: Or the inlay is just made of a significantly stronger/more resistant material which the phasers can not melt/etc…

8:23:
"The Wrath of Kahn":

Captain vaporizes himself with a phaser.

8:30:
TNG: "Arsonal of Freedom":

Tasha: "Tritanium. It's been melted."
Riker: "What could do that?"
Tasha: "I don't know. Whatever it was, it's beyond our technology."


8:45:
DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets":

O'Brien: "That's a tritanium composite, all right. Looks like our missing interlock."
Neela: "It must have been melted by the conduit's plasma flow."


Argument: Phasers on maximum can not melt the Tritanium but the plasma conduit can. Argues it is a matter of heat vs NDF, not the shear power difference.

Argument: Density has a significant affect.

Counter: Or tritanium, which is used in the construction of starship hulls, is just to much of a ToughStuff™ for phasers to melt, while a major power conduit for the station could. A small conduit on Voyager in VOY: "Revulsion" has a significantly higher power than a hand phaser by any example; Kim: "Wait! What are you doing? There are five billion [or million, but I hear it as billion] gigawatts running through there!". Yet the conduit on DS9 merely melted the tool, that tritanium composite is some ToughStuff™, and I'm not at all surprised a phaser couldn't do anything notable to it.

9:11:
DS9: "Profet and Loss":

Garak vaporizes Toran with a phaser.

9:17:
DS9: "Capitve Persuit":

Sisko: "Increase setting to level six."
Odo: "It's that Tosk they're after."
Kira: "Maybe they have a right to him."
Odo: "Nobody's abducting a prisoner out of my brig as long as I'm alive, Major."
Kira: "You may need this."
Odo: "Thanks, Major, I know I never use them."


Argument: Armor is more effective as it is a harder/more dense material compared to the simple body.

Counter: The Cardassian was wearing armor, and the suits were not armored, they had small shields which were used the block the phaser shots. Furthermore the phasers used on the hunters were set at a far lower setting, they later increased to level six (a setting normally associated with heating effects not disintegration). This is a horrible comparison as Garak is known for vaporizing his targets on maximum setting, while the phasers being fired by the Starfleet officers were set on the lower half of their known range.

10:07:
VOY: "Prey":

Tuvok: "Our weapons are having little effect on their hull plating. I'm scanning for weaknesses in the molecular structure."

Argument: The fact that the armor is dense makes it hard to penetrate. They scan for weaknesses in the molecular structure to tune the NDF to better affect.

Counter: Of course the armor is hard to penetrate, the Hirogen wouldn't be using it if it wasn't. Also the use of 'molecular structure' implies thermal effects as heat is a molecular level event while NDF would be an atomic/subatomic level event. Technically vaporization is disruption of an object's structure on the molecular level.

10:30:
DS9: "Rapture":

Sisko vaporizes a wall of rock with his phaser.

10:43:
VOY: "Endgame":

Janeway: "Computer, deploy armour. Lay in a course for these co-ordinates. What do you want?"
Korath : "You'll pay for your deceit, ghuy'cha! The House of Korath won't rest until you've drowned in your own blood!"
Janeway: "I'd love to stay and chat but I'm on a tight schedule. Computer, warp six."

Klingons fire on shuttle with ablative armor.

11:25:
VOY: "Endgame":

Janeway: "Deploy armour."
Torres: "Yes, ma'am."
Tuvok: "Armour integrity at ninety seven percent."
Janeway: "Tuvok?"
Tuvok: "Integrity holding at ninety percent."
Janeway: "Maintain course."

Borg fire at Voyager with armor.

Argument: The armor, due to its density is too much for phaser like weapons to penetrate.

Counter: The armor is an advanced, futuristic technology by Voyager's standards. It was designed to resist weapons fire, there is no indication of how it works.

12:11:
TOS: "The Naked Time":

Scott: "Get up to my office and pull the plans for this bulkhead. The only way to get that door open is to cut through these wall circuits here."
…more cutting through the wall…

Argument: It is easier to cut through the wall than the door. It must be really dense and therefor phaser resistant.

Counter: It's the bulkhead door to main engineering, it makes sense that the door is built with the idea that you can not simply blast through it with a hand phaser, a similar design to what is seen earlier in DS9: "The Forsaken".

14:08:
Some DS9 episode I can't identify.
Alien disintegrates someone leaving burns on the carpet.
Alien: "I thought it was on stun."

Argument: Very little effect on it's surroundings. Waste heat from the NDF effect burned the carpet.

Counter: Or it could be another effect which simply negates/restricts the secondary effects, and he happened to be on that spot, so that spot got the effects before they were delt with. See 22:00 about Brian's argument for a confinement beam.

14:40:
TOS: "The Devil in the Dark":

Kirk: "Not necessarily, Bones. I've heard of the theoretical possibility of life based on silicon. A silicon-based life would be of an entirely different order. It's possible that our phasers might not affect it."
Spock: "Certainly not phaser one, which is far less powerful than phaser two."
Kirk: "All right, how about this? A creature that lives deep in the planet below us, at home in solid rock. It seems to me that in order to survive, it would have to have some form of natural armour plating."
Spock: "It could explain much, especially since the colonists are armed only with phaser one."
Kirk: "But our people have phaser number two."
Spock: "Which I could adjust to be more effective against silicon."

…Kirk and Spock fire phasers at the Creature…
Kirk: "It's definitely phaser resistant. We had our weapons set for silicon and on full power, yet we only damaged it. It still lives."
Giotto: "You mean it's impossible to kill?"
Kirk: "No. No, it might require amassed phasers."
Spock: "Or a single phaser with much longer contact."


Argument: Phasers are ineffective against silicon.

Counter: Or the creature's natural armor plating was able to repel a certain level of phaser fire.

Brian then goes off about how the phasers were less effective because it was made of silicon, and how silicon is significantly different than other types of atoms such as carbon. Which it just plain isn't. His argument, once corrected, actually is counter to his point. The structure of a silicon atom neucleus, aside from it's specific proton count, is no different than any other atom (of corse as far as we know). Therefor the difference was in the molecular structure, not the atomic structure. And the way you disrupt molecular structure is by applying heat.

This is also assuming that the vast majority of the creature is silicon, which is just plain silly. Humans are carbon based life, yet our body is only 9.5% carbon. We are in fact 63% hydrogen, so why would a silicon based life form be primarily silicon by default? It could be 85% tritanium for all we know (and that would actually explain it's phaser resistance). It is likely the adjustment to silicon was adjusting the neural shock portion of the phaser to be better suited for a different style nervous system.

Brian notes that even after the adjustment to the phasers to silicon, they still are of little use against the armor. Now is it more reasonable to say that a silicon nucleus is magically resistant to being blown apart, as per his hypothesis, or would it be more reasonable to assume either a)The armor is not mostly silicon or b)The armor is just to strong for phasers.

16:18:
VOY: "Flesh and Blood":

Tuvok: "Stand down."
[Tuvok adjusts his phaser and shoots two hunters]
Tuvok: "Step away."

Argument: The phaser was on full power and could not penetrate the armor, only injure the two.

Counter: Brian uses an image just before this one to determine that the phaser is set to full (16). However here in DS9: "Valiant" the phasers most certainly aren't, yet they still look like they are. He also ignores that later in the episode, when the holograms are hunting the hunters, phaser fire below maximum is more than sufficient to penetrate their armor and kill them. Several phaser bolts strike a rock face creating the standard impact explosion associated with mid level phaser discharges (probably around level six or seven). A couple shots later one strikes a hunter critically wounding him.

And even assuming that the armor offers that level of protection, what does that say other than the Hirogen make strong armor? We would know nothing of what makes it strong.

17:10:
TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise":

Enterprise-d destroys a Klingon Bird of Prey with Phasers.

17:18:
TNG: "Relics":

Picard: "Mister Worf, can we use the phasers to open a hole in the sphere?"
Worf: "No, sir. The exterior shell is composed of carbon neutronium. Our weapons would be ineffective."


17:29:
TOS: "By Any Other Name":

Spock: "Fascinating material. Similar to diburnium, but considerably more dense. I doubt even phaser fire could disturb its molecular structure."

18:15:
TOS: "The Man Trap":

A phaser blast hits a hollow concrete pillar, shattering one of the blocks.

18:50:
TOS: "That Which Survives":

Sulu: "That's the same red rock."
Kirk: "My phaser didn't cut through it."
McCoy: "Whatever it is, it has a mighty high melting point."
Kirk: "Eight thousand degrees centigrade. It looks like igneous rock, but infinitely denser."


Argument: The effect of phasers is dependent on the target's density in order to perform the RNE.

Counter: Density is a factor in vaporization as well, so of course density is always going to matter. The more matter there is, the more you have to do unto it to make it go away. In TOS: "That Which Survives" McCoy immediately goes to thermal properties to question why the phaser didn't work. Kirk then elaborates and compares it to igneous rock and lists a difference. Brian takes this to mean that Kirk's comment is the only reason why the phaser did not cut through the rock. McCoy is clearly not an idiot and would have some understanding of whether or not phasers use thermal effects or an NDF/RNE. Then after all of this, Kirk sets his phasers to an even higher setting to try again. Also a melting point of 8,000 °C is far more than enough to vaporize any known element.

19:32:
"The Undiscovered Country"

A phaser is used to vaporize a pot but not it's contents.

Argument: Phasers affect only the target.

He then goes on to arbitrarily claim that density plays a greater role with phasers than it does with a conventional energy weapon. The reason this is arbitrary is that while he has shown many instances in which density both is and may be a factor, none of these state to what extent the density affects the effect vs how much it would affect the effect of another weapon. All of these examples are qualitative, there is no way to gauge the difference in preformance of a phaser due to density. There is nothing showing anything else being more effective because of a target's density alone. In the examples of unknown high-density materials there is no basis for forming a conclusion, nor anything to compare it with. In examples such as DS9: "The Forsaken" another implement is shown to be more effective, but density is not stated to be an issue at all. In TNG: "Relics" we are talking about a material called 'carbon neutronium' given that it involves neutronium in the name it is probably very dense, but we do not know if that is the issue. It may merely take 9,999,999,999,999 °C to melt for all we know, so there is no way to draw a solid conclusion. The same goes for the rest of these examples. Either there is no comparison, or many other properties are unknown which could affect the result.

In fact with tritanium, we can surmise that it is not inordinately dense as one of O'Brian's hand tools was composed of the material and he could quite probably lift it.


21:24:
"The Search for Spock":

A klingon is disintegrated next to another Klingon

Argument: There are few noticeable secondary effects, the other Klingon is uninjured, the console is intact, although there is a little smoke.

Just as a note on the grate scene debate, while Han was armored (the usefulness of storm trooper armor can be debated) his head was not, and that was only a meter away. That means assuming iron was vaporized, Han's head would have been exposed to temperatures exceeding 600 °C if only for a short period, enough to cause instantaneous burns/skin destruction. I point this out, as I did then, as inconsistent application of disbelief (i.e. a double standard).


For this next section Brian goes to point out how parts of the body which are no longer supported by anything fail to fall. He ascribes it to a confinement beam similar to that of a transporter. Of course the real world explication of this is that they are merely compositing from a scene with the victim to one without the victim. He also comments on the fact that the phaser completely disintegrates it's target leaving nothing behind, actually they leave a little residue, but it is not really noticeable.

22:13:
DS9: "Second Skin"

Cardassian is shot and disintegrated by Garak.

22:50:
DS9: "Civil defense":

Starfleet officer shot by replicated phaser.

23:45:
TNG: "Face of the Enemy":

A romulan shoots another roman with their disruptor.

24:22:
TNG: "The Vengeance Factor":

Yuta: "William, I. I'm sorry."
Riker: "Stop."

…low level shot, followed by a higher one, Riker sets the phaser to maximum…
Riker: "Yuta, don't do this."
…Riker disintegrates her

He makes an off hand remark that the determination of a target can make it harder to kill, but doesn't take into account that Yuta is special. She was killed many years earlier, revived and sent to kill all their clan's rifles across several lifespans. So she is not a normal example.

25:50:
TNG: "Chain of Command":

Picard: "There's a lava tube beyond here that runs for seventy five metres, then it connects with another chamber. We need to get through here. This tube opens up beyond this crack. We could widen the opening, then we should be able to crawl through. Mister Worf."
Worf: "A phaser set to level sixteen should suffice."
Picard: "Make it so."
Picard: "Well done, Mister Worf."


Argument: The phaser removed a thin (he uses 3") wall of rock.

Counter: The basis of using only 3" is because there is one lighted spot of grey which he picks. We can never see all the way through, so this is not a good estimate of the thickness of the section they remove. However, here we can see the other side of the section they removed and where it opens up from the section they cut into a slightly larger (and for some reason lighter) passage. So they actually removed at least a cubic meter of rock.

At 28:47 he restates that density 'is the obvious resistive factor' and yet he has not yet provided any examples which indicate this is true. He has provided examples that mention density, and some that indicate it is a factor, but none that indicate it has an inordinate affect on the outcome. Certainly nothing indicates it would have any more affect than it would have with any other type of weapon.

28:50:
DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges":

Sloan is hit and disintegrated by a disruptor.

Bashir: "… Where is he?"
Ross: "I don't know."
Bashir: "But he's alive, isn't he?"
Ross: "He was supposed to be beamed away a split second before the phaser beam hit him. Whether it worked or not, I couldn't say."


More about stuff not falling when not supported.
He then says that because no one noticed the difference between the beam out and the supposed disruptor hit, that the phaser's disintegration works on the same premise as a transporter. He then goes on to state that the angular confinement beam, again using the TNG Technical Manual, of a transporter would explain the effect of the various parts of a phaser target remaining in place during disintegration. He provides another example of beaming instead of disintegration from TNG: "Gambit" when Picard was supposedly vaporized. Of course in these examples no one is scanning for transporter beams, and a transporter's appearance can be changed as of TNG: "Devil's Due". However in a DS9 clip shown at 32:55 it is stated that disintegration from a phaser or disruptor could leave similar residual energy.

He then states how burns from a transporter and a phaser are similar by showing a clip from voyager where the Doctor diagnoses an officer with phaser burns, and how Muniz in DS9: "The Ship" makes an offhand, positive, comment about having worse transporter burns than he received from the hit he took from the Jem'Hadar weapon. This makes no sense as there is no way to compare a positive thinking and offhand comment to visuals. Other than 'both can give you burns' there is not much that can be derived from this. A fire can give you burns and so can a 120 V wall socket, but that in no way means they have anything else in common.

Then he makes the argument that because other technologies, such as the holodeck and replicator, are based on transporter technology that it makes sense that phasers are as well. Again things like internal combustion engines are based off the idea of a steam engine, but does that make a gatling gun based on a steam engine as well? The fairly obvious answer is: no.

He then moves on to DS9: "The Die is Cast" stating how debris and dust in the atmosphere would create an ablative effect dwindling the beam's energy before it reached the ground. However in VOY: "Thirty Days" and VOY: "Flesh and Blood" we either see or are told about phaser beams moving through water with little trouble, the only issue being the shockwave greater by the resulting vaporized steam. He correctly points out that small enough blasts would not propel vapor/debris out of orbit, but it is unclear what exactly occurred.

Next he moves to 'clear up a misconception' from page 137: "on setting 16 explosive/disruptive effects, discharged energy… heavy geologic displacement ≤ 650 cubic meters rock ore 6 grams per cubic centimeter explosively uncoupled per discharge." He points out this is not disintegrated, but an explosion. Then he follows by stating how 6 g/cm^3 is not all that dense, which it actually is almost the density of solid iron, and three times the density of granite (6000 kg/m^3). That is a total mass of 3,900,000 kg 'explosively uncoupled'. He shows a couple examples from voyager of Paris and Neelix caving in some tunnels with their phasers, the setting is unknown. He also massively understates the volume of 650 m^3 as being the size of "a small room or a large closet" when it is in fact an 8.7 meter cube or roughly four dorm rooms. And again this is all from the technical manual which is still a non-canon source.


38:13:
TNG: "The Mind's Eye":

Data: "Energy flow is within normal parameters, from the pre-fire chamber to the emission aperture."
LaForge: "Rapid nadion pulse, right on target. Beam control assembly, safety interlock, both checked out. Beam width intensity controls also responding correctly."
Data: "Energy cell usage remains constant at one point oh five megajoules per second."


He assumes both LaForge and Data, both very intelligent people, were being complete idiots and firing a phaser on maximum in main engineering. To get the readings they needed (efficiency, consumption, response, etc…) they could fire the weapon on lowest setting and compare agains known specifications. Why endanger others, equipment, very important control consoles, or even the ship itself by firing on full power? If something were to happen and the beam hit the warp core, the entire ship could be destroyed. Or at the very least serious damage would be inflicted on the engineering controls.

38:38:
DS9: "Return to Grace":

Kira: "This is a standard issue, Cardassian phase-disruptor rifle. It has a four point seven megajoule power capacity, three millisecond recharge two beam settings."
Ziyal: "How do you know so much about Cardassian weapons?"
Kira: "We captured a lot of them during the occupation. It's a good weapon, solid, simple. You can drag it through the mud and it'll still fire. Now this. This is an entirely different animal. Federation standard issue. It's a little less powerful, but it's got a more options."


Again with this; rapid pulse, 4.7 MJ / 0.003 s = 1.566 GW.

39:09:
TNG: "Who Watches the Watchers":

LaForge: "We've finished replicating the parts they'll need, but what I don't understand is why a three man station would need a reactor capable of producing four point two gigawatts."
Riker: "Enough to power a small phaser bank, a subspace relay station, or"
LaForge: "A hologram generator."


Brian assumes something like a galaxy class starship phaser bank, it could easily be something on the scale of the type-IV phasers of a shuttle craft, and/or require a week to charge.

39:23:
DS9: "Battle Lines":

Sisko: "Shields up!"
Kira: "Reading a significant energy build-up in the satellite. Six hundred megawatts, nine hundred, it's firing."
Kira: "Shields are down. Forward thrusters are gone. We're losing power."
Sisko: "Attempting to compensate with secondary boosters."


This one is fairly irrefutable if inconsistent. If you want to try and refute it, go here

He goes on to wrap things up on how phasers would be weaker against shields and armor compared to unarmored hull. However we have seen on every occasion of quantifiable shield strengths that they are much much stronger than the few gigajoules which he argues for. The fact that both phasers and torpedoes affect the hull and shields proportionally to each other directly requires that they affect them in a similar matter, in both cases they input raw energy to destroy the hull thermally and kinetically. Plus they have a similar order of magnitude of effect on shields, so they are of similar energies.

Then he moves onto a sort of conclusion, which I will not address as I have addressed all points used in said conclusion; density, disintegration, etc…

Next he jumps to phaser overloads showing the overloads from TNG: "The Hunted" and TOS: "That Which Survives" claiming similar levels to a hand grenade. Which is true of the first, but far from what is shown in the TOS example. In TOS: "That Which Survives" Kirk throws the phaser away behind several of the indistructible rocks, the blast completely whites out the screen.

He then goes on to try and dismiss the example from TOS: "The Conscience of the King" by saying that Kirk was greatly exaggerating and that the simple chute was able to contain the explosion. However that is clearly not the case.

Spock: "Shh. Listen. Do you hear it? That low hum."
Kirk: "A phaser."
Spock: "On overload."
Kirk: "This is the Captain. There's a phaser on overload in my quarters. If it blows, it'll take out the entire deck. Evacuate all personnel in this quadrant. Double Red Alert. You get out of here."
Spock: "You can't stay."
Kirk: "Go on. Block off this section. Hurry. I'll find it."
Spock: "Evacuate this section. Seal it off. Clear section C4 and C5."


Kirk put the phaser in a compartment labeled "PRESSURE VENT DISPOSAL" as in a vent to the outside of the ship, and the detonation still shook the ship. Not that that should actually happen, but it indicates a powerful blast.

The he goes to TOS: "The Galileo Seven" and trys to downplay the energy by pointing out the shuttle only made suborbital flight, and by claiming that it possess mass lightening tech because it has things that look like warp nacelles. To raise 2000 kg (quite a bit on the light side) to the orbital altitude of the ISS (≈350 km) requires about 6.86 GJ, and it takes even more to overcome friction and to get up to speed. It also seems highly unlikely that the shuttles have any form of warp field as they are not warp capable, they don't even have impulse drive, they only have thrusters. And nowhere have thrusters been associated with mass lightning systems. In fact in DS9: "Emissary" (one of the examples Brian uses to show precedent) O'Brian specifically has to generate such a field to go along with the station's thrusters, because there normally isn't one with thrusters. As for the nacelles, the thruster fuel vented from them, so they probably house the thruster assemblies and bear a similarity for looks.

Anyway, there it is. There is a bit more conclusion I did not address, again I have covered all parts of it.

And I'll end with the use of the TM as a 'backup' to solve conflicts. As the manual is not canon it has no validity and for that reason can not be used as a backup. And also because it has not canon validity it has no weight with which to settle a conflict of evidence. Imagine a sports match where two sides are arguing over a foul or something. And instead of reviewing the relevant section of play, or asking a referee to decide, it depends on which team has more neatly tied shoelaces, or who printed "we're gonna win!!!" more times on the team website. Using the TM as a conflict solver is akin to that.

EDIT: Grammar corrections.
Last edited by 359 on Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by Lucky » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:09 am

TNG: "Hero Worship"
LAFORGE: Magnetic residual analysis confirms that the Vico was attacked inside the Black Cluster. The graviton wave fronts pushed the ship to where we found it.

PICARD: No signs of phaser burns on the hull.

LAFORGE: No, sir. Torsional stress levels point to a disrupter-style weapon.

DATA: Fracture points indicate that the energy burst came from a range of less than three thousand metres.

PICARD: But that's a strategy consistent with a cloaked vessel. Romulan. Or Klingon. But we're quite a distance from either of their territories.

DATA: The Breen have outposts in this sector. The attack on the Vico is consistent with their battle tactics and their level of technology.

PICARD: Thank you, Data. But what would the Breen be doing inside the Black Cluster? The boy described a boarding party with helmets and phaser rifles.

LAFORGE: Boarding party? I don't think that's likely, sir.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:39 pm

Argument: The armor, due to it's density is to much for phaser like weapons to penetrate.
ENGRISH MOTHAFUCKA!!!

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 359 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:47 am

Yes, I did make a grammar mistake there.

I'll go fix it.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by Mike DiCenso » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:49 pm

Sigh. I've known Brian for many years since the earliest days of the Versus debates, and he still can't stop being dishonest. This is not the first time Brian has been dishonest as we all know with his Scifights.net videos, just read my review here of his Minbari versus Federation video.

Also, I'm getting really sick and tired of the "Material dependency" fallacy. I've compared it to this analogy: If I had a magnifying glass and tried to used it to focus sunlight on a piece of typing paper, the paper will likely burn from the heat. But if I tried the same thing with the exact same magnifying glass, with the same sunlight on a cinder block or a piece of sheet steel, they will not burn, or melt just get hot. Does this mean that some magical nuclear disruption force is the mechanism behind the magnifying glass? No, of course not. It's because all the materials in question have different physical properties and as such it takes more heat energy to melt, and or set fire to a cinder block or a piece of sheet metal than a piece of paper.

That's all. So why can't that be true in all or most of the Trek examples used?

Ah well. No amount of logical argument and evidence will probably ever stop Brian's self-serving fallacies.
-Mike

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 359 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:26 am

VOY: "Future's End":

Kim: "There's a subspace signature emanating from the ship. Captain, it's Federation!"
...
Kim: "He's firing some kind of sub-atomic disruptor."

The ship was already identified as Federation in origin so phasers would be assumed to be its armament by default. Kim needs to clarify this type of weaponry so it is implied that this is dissimilar to phasers in function, therefor phasers do not employ sub-atomic disruption effects, according to this instance.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 359 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:03 am

359 wrote:16:18:
VOY: "Flesh and Blood":

Tuvok: "Stand down."
[Tuvok adjusts his phaser and shoots two hunters]
Tuvok: "Step away."

Argument: The phaser was on full power and could not penetrate the armor, only injure the two.

Counter: Brian uses an image just before this one to determine that the phaser is set to full (16). However here in DS9: "Valiant" the phasers most certainly aren't, yet they still look like they are. He also ignores that later in the episode, when the holograms are hunting the hunters, phaser fire below maximum is more than sufficient to penetrate their armor and kill them. Several phaser bolts strike a rock face creating the standard impact explosion associated with mid level phaser discharges (probably around level six or seven). A couple shots later one strikes a hunter critically wounding him.

And even assuming that the armor offers that level of protection, what does that say other than the Hirogen make strong armor? We would know nothing of what makes it strong.
I was surfing around Memory Alpha when I bumped into this image which reminded me of the material above. The image is from DS9: "Hard Times" when O'Brien is thinking of killing himself. One can see how on this model of phaser the bar switches to red (thereby making the green look yellow) for settings 9 through 16. In Brian's image of Tuvok's phaser, which is of the same model, only green is lit up, therefor the phaser is set to level 8 or below which is in the mid to low range of thermal effects settings. Definitely not maximum.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 2046 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:06 pm

This is truly excellent. I was finally getting around to transcribing some of my almost-year-old recordings about his phasers video, which you have largely anticipated. I had a note to myself to look for the O'Brien example, but here, in this thread, is what I wanted, plus another example of the prop, plus specific refutation from the Hirogen episode, besides.

I swear, 359, there are days where I am convinced you've tapped into my brain. But, bromantic nerd-crush aside, I mean to quote you in full, with your permission.

The reason I was digging for those recordings is Young's recent attempt to misunderstand an ASVS thread. During his effort he references his phasers video as if it was valid, which of course is incorrect, but then he doesn't like reading counterclaims.

Long story short, the topic was whether a phaser could defeat the armor of an AT-ST, and a Sherman tank with three inches of steel became the surrogate, being a well-researched item. The opposing side argued that steel is denser than rock and so despite meters of rock being readily penetrable by either clean or explosive vaporization, the steel would be impervious to all but long-duration shots.

http://forums.asvs.org/index.php?/topic ... ies/page-5

Young then complains about the question arguing that handgun vs. tank is the Federation best versus other guy's worst (huh?), insulting straw men projected from his own behavior as fanatics, and then he spends the last half of the video on a red herring about the tactics of a man vs. tank engagement, which has jack to do with the question of weapons penetration but gives him the chance to paint Trek guys as inept yet again by suggesting they would attack by traipsing toward it with phaser over open ground, or similar, without even knowing if the phaser would do any good.

(Before attacking an armored knight with a hand-weapon of some kind, I'd sure like to know if there's a chance in hell I can get through the armor in a timely fashion. Otherwise approach and maneuver tactics are irrelevant because I am not going.)

(Ironically, this is his defense against the straw man claim that Trek fanatics argue their foes will just sit around ineptly and wait to be shot. The hell?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEG-hqjJwhI

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 359 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:27 pm

2046 wrote:I mean to quote you in full, with your permission.
Sure.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by Lucky » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:38 am

2046 wrote: Long story short, the topic was whether a phaser could defeat the armor of an AT-ST, and a Sherman tank with three inches of steel became the surrogate, being a well-researched item. The opposing side argued that steel is denser than rock and so despite meters of rock being readily penetrable by either clean or explosive vaporization, the steel would be impervious to all but long-duration shots.

http://forums.asvs.org/index.php?/topic ... ies/page-5
You wouldn't happen to know what setting they used to cut the steelplas in Too Short a Season would you?

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 359 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:06 am

Lucky wrote:You wouldn't happen to know what setting they used to cut the steelplas in Too Short a Season would you?
It's not specified. However at a guess: between 7 and 10.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by Mike DiCenso » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:55 am

I find it hilarious that anyone would even suggest that a phaser cannot penetrate easily through a few inches of steel when In "Too Short a Season", we see phasers cut through about 10.16 cm of steelplast in just a fraction of a second and Worf and Tasha's phaser cut out a circle of the stuff in just a few seconds. You can see it here starting at 104:46 and ending at 104:56. Note when the piece falls, it clangs to the floor with a distinctive heavy, metallic sound.

So whatever the set was actually made of, the intent was clearly to convey that this was a dense alloy material in-universe.

Tough to see what the setting is, but it looks maybe about mid-point.
-Mike

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by Darth Spock » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:24 am

359 wrote:
Lucky wrote:You wouldn't happen to know what setting they used to cut the steelplas in Too Short a Season would you?
It's not specified. However at a guess: between 7 and 10.
Mike DiCenso wrote:I find it hilarious that anyone would even suggest that a phaser cannot penetrate easily through a few inches of steel when In "Too Short a Season", we see phasers cut through about 10.16 cm of steelplast in just a fraction of a second and Worf and Tasha's phaser cut out a circle of the stuff in just a few seconds. You can see it here starting at 104:46 and ending at 104:56. Note when the piece falls, it clangs to the floor with a distinctive heavy, metallic sound.

So whatever the set was actually made of, the intent was clearly to convey that this was a dense alloy material in-universe.

Tough to see what the setting is, but it looks maybe about mid-point.
-Mike
Just to be clear, I agree with the above statements, but the example is too vague, and won't convince anyone who doesn't want to be convinced. Sample rebuttal:

"We can't see the setting the phasers are on, they're probably maxed on 16. Also, it's not steel, it's steelplast, likely a lightweight alternative like real life plasteel. Also, I don't think that's 10.16 cm thick, I'd say it's 7.62 cm at most, and look how long it took for two phasers just to cut a narrow strip out of it at maximum power." Amiright?

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by 359 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:14 pm

Youareright.

The example is not good for determining anything other than a phaser beam can cut through, no more, no less.

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Re: Review of scifights.net Phasers Case Study

Post by Mike DiCenso » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:49 pm

Darth Spock wrote:Just to be clear, I agree with the above statements, but the example is too vague, and won't convince anyone who doesn't want to be convinced. Sample rebuttal:

"We can't see the setting the phasers are on, they're probably maxed on 16. Also, it's not steel, it's steelplast, likely a lightweight alternative like real life plasteel. Also, I don't think that's 10.16 cm thick, I'd say it's 7.62 cm at most, and look how long it took for two phasers just to cut a narrow strip out of it at maximum power." Amiright?

Well, as a rebuttal, it's not all that good.

-Can't see the setting? Let's look at a high-def image from Trekcore:

http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x16/ ... hd_265.jpg

You can see the phaser settings, but just barely. There is no sign of the red bar indicator that 395 has pointed out that would indicate they are set to maximum. Only green is visible.

- As for plasteel, the link you sent to was about an automobile that uses one of several patented name brands. But it could just as easily use like this Plasteel which is a fairly thick core of steel encased in plastic.

- Thickness of the plasteel and size of the hole:

Tasha standing right next to hole immediately after cutting through:

http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x16/ ... hd_269.jpg

Worf and Tasha next to the hole:
http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x16/ ... hd_271.jpg

Interesting here is that we can not only gauge the thickness of the material (compare the thickness of the plasteel to Worf's extended hand with the phaser), as well as the width of the hole cut, but we can see around the outside edges significant carbon scoring as well. The wall is at least 8 cm thick and really given that we are viewing it at a three quarter angle, likely 9-10 cm. The hole is easily 1.5 meters tall compared to the 1.85 m tall Worf, and about as wide. So both phasers cut an approximately 2.25 square meter hole out of 10 cm thick material.

We also have to bear in mind that Worf and Tasha were ordered to cut a way through, not blast or vaporize, which keeps in with the landing party's goal of rescuing hostages might be on the other side of that wall:

JAMESON: Yes, perfect. We are in the M4 tunnel, directly under the Governor's residence. M-4 is a subsidiary tunnel, but it crosses and links with several main ones.

DATA: I am sorry, sir. That does not correspond with the information in my tricorder, sir.

JAMESON: Your information is incorrect, Commander. I know these tunnels like the back of my own hand. Keep scanning for signs of human life forms. Karnas held his hostages in these tunnels before. He'll do it again.
(The group head down a tunnel)

DATA: Captain, the Admiral is definitely incorrect. The tunnel schematics we have show this to be a dead end. It was sealed off two years ago.

PICARD: No doubt you're right, Mister Data. However, forty five years ago, I'm sure it linked in with the tunnels the Admiral remembers.

JAMESON: Damn.

PICARD: Geordi?

LAFORGE: This is steelplast, sir. Fairly recent installation.

JAMESON: This is the most direct route. Set phasers to cut through it.
(Worf and Tasha cut an opening in the wall)
TASHA: If you have the coordinates where you think the hostages are, sir, we could just beam in over there.
JAMESON: Karnas may not have them in the same place. There's no substitute, Lieutenant, for personal reconnoitre.

(He leads them through the hole)

LAFORGE: Admiral, there's an infrared light signal ahead. Steady beam, straight across the tunnel, chest high. There's another at waist level.


Also, you can clearly see that the phaser setting indicator is showing green, not red or yellow on Worf's phaser, though it is possible Worf has just set his phaser back to stun settings. In fact, we know that the green lights indicate a higher than stun setting since Picard orders phasers back to stun when it falls under an ambush by Karnas' soldiers:

TASHA: An alarm trigger or

PICARD: Reset phasers to stun.

(A phaser beam just misses them)

PICARD: Take cover!



So in conclusion, not only can a mere hand phasers cut through the steelplast, and what is likely a mid-range setting in a matter of seconds.
-Mike

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