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"Needed: Materials for 24th Century Starships—Considering" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2022 9:26 p.m. PST

… the Materials Demands of the Star Trek Universe

"In the 24th century, immense starships will travel the Milky Way galaxy in search of strange new worlds. The ships will be designed and built to tolerate enormous stresses and extreme environments; they will travel at extraordinary velocities through warped space while functioning as self-contained ecosystems supporting hundreds of crew members.

This is the future universe envisioned by the four Star Trek series that have aired on television since the mid-1960s. As science consultant to the current series—Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and producers to create plausible representations and descriptions of future sciences that will make the Milky Way galaxy as navigable as the oceans of Earth are today.

Star Trek has depicted a wide array of interstellar hardware—starships, warpdrives, transporters, etc.—that provide our heroes with the means to travel among the stars in search of adventure and new knowledge. In a one-hour television show, however, we simply do not have the time to let our characters delve into the working details of these technologies. In this article, I share a few of my thoughts on some questions raised by the presumed future existence of these technologies. Specifically,…"

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Covert Walrus31 Aug 2022 4:06 a.m. PST

Interesting speculation by a materials scientist.

Mind you as SF writer Wil McCarthy noted, when he got the idea for his "wellstone" stories after doing a piece for "WIRED" magazine on Quantum Dot technology, some scientists in that field can't see beyond their immediate applications.

Quantum Dots, if you were wondering, are a special experimental device; Imagnien a sheet of semiconductor material wafer (Like the material they punch microchip bases out of), but with a series of pits in it. Now, each pit due to electric charge, can hold a particle, such as a proton, neutron, or similar in the pit in a suspension. You can add further particles, and by using further close-by pits, create a sort of "Working model" of any atom,e you care to, including entirely unstable ones, if you have enough power to maintain the charge to hold it.

The material has half the abilities of the "Synthetic atom" and half that of the silicon/gallide or silicon/arsenic material. So if you created an artificial atom three times stronger than iron, it would be one and a half times stronger than an iron/semiconductor mix. McCarthy saw waht the scientists did no,t or at least didn't think about because it wasn't relevant to their study . . . . By changing the charge and balance of atoms in the dots, you literally program the matter to do what you wish.

McCarthy has called this type of thing "Wellstone" as in the well from which all other material can be brought forth; Theoretically, it's very much a perfect material for anything that needs to be flexible in all conditions, like a spacecraft hull, housing or equipment, and in fact the far future episodes of "ST: Discovery" have programmable matter systems in many functional devices.

And in the real world, as the article points out, metal-matrix materials are coming into play even today; The possibilities of recent casting advances for tungsten are already incredibly promising in a lot of fields.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2022 3:56 p.m. PST



Sargonarhes24 Sep 2022 4:48 a.m. PST

It has recently dawned on me there is a technology missing from Star Trek. We seen in DS9 the common foot soldier in Star Trek still fights like they do today or even as in WWII.

Where they hell is the powered armor in Star Trek?
If anything you'd think they'd have powered armor with personal shields, phaser or disruptors and small photon launcher, could even have a limited range transporter and anti-grav jump or flight systems.

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