Mike DiCenso wrote:This is a big problem for Star Trek as well as Star Wars. Mass lightening tech is quite probable. What I find funny is that Brian claims things are inescapable, yet we routinely here on this site and on others find all kinds of way around it. The fact is, neither he nor Saxton or anyone else didn't truly try to disprove anything. They made up their minds and went with the numbers they wanted.
Well, to be honest, the mass-lightening references in the fluff are somewhat obscure. (It's only two or three stories and an RPG book in all, to my knowledge.) I don't think I can fault people for not knowing about those in the pre-wiki ages when Saxton did most of his calculations. And in the absence of explicit evidence for
physics-breaking technologies, it does make a certain amount of sense to assume their non-existence.
Of course, since Saxton did most certainly learn about at least one such reference at some point (what with it being quoted on his site and all), it becomes a little odd that he wouldn't have considered the wider implications of it when he derived his figures for power generation.
Furthermore, if you can apply that thinking to Star Wars, why not apply it to Star Trek or any other SF franchise? I mean we do know the mass of the TOS Enterprise and Voyager (nearly 1 million long tons and 700,000 metric tons respectively)and we have seen them perform feats of acceleration far in excess of their Star Wars counterparts.
Well, we do know mass-lightening effects are present where Trek warp drives are concerned. And just looking at Memory Alpha, impulse drives also seem to include some exotic elements (subspace fields) that might be "cheating" against Newtonian physics.
The Enterprise in ST:TMP's run from Earth to Jupiter requires at least a 34,000 m/s², or 3,460 gs acceleration, which if we plug the numbers in:
No offense, but I believe you might have made a mistake there. From the numbers posted, it seems you're using the acceleration as the final velocity in your calculation. If you calculate acceleration times mass, you get a measure of force, not kinetic energy.
About 5,800 petajoules. And this from a mid-size Federation starship on impulse power only. If we use the E-D, which we can reasonably extrapolate is 6-24 times more massive than Voyager or the Constitution-class Enterprise, the power output gets really scary since the E-D has managed to get from Saturn to Earth in 19 minutes on impulse power only.
If it did that, then it was most certainly "cheating" by going faster than light. The minimum distance from Saturn to Earth is on the order of eight astronomical units or so -- over a light-hour. I don't think we can calculate anything from that, using real-life physics.