Warp speed

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Warp speed

Post by WATCH-MAN » 2016-04-19 07:27am

From the ENT episode "Fortunate Son":
        • T'POL:
            • The Earth cargo ship Fortunate. Y-class freighter, maximum speed warp one point eight. Crew complement twenty three.
            • [...]
          TRAVIS:
            • I grew up on a J-class, a little smaller but the same basic design, and one thing I can tell you is that at warp one point eight you've got a lot of time on your hands between ports. That's how my parents wound up with me.
            • [...]
          RYAN:
            • So you were on the Horizon?
          TRAVIS:
            • I was born on her, halfway between Draylax and Vega Colony.
From the ENT episode "Dead Stop":
        • PHLOX:
            • Computer, begin recording. Subject's name, Ensign Travis Mayweather. Human male. Weight, seventy two kilograms. Age, twenty six Earth years.
From the ENT episode "Broken Bow":
        • FORREST:
            • The warp five engine wouldn't be a reality without men like Doctor Cochrane and Henry Archer, who worked so hard to develop it. So it's only fitting that Henry's son, Jonathan Archer, will command the first starship powered by that engine. Rather than quoting Doctor Cochrane, I think we should listen to his own words from the dedication ceremony for the Warp Five Complex thirty two years ago.
          COCHRANE:
            • On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will someday help us travel a hundred times faster than we can today.

Summary:
        • Round about six years before Travis Mayweather was born aboard the cargo ship Horizon, which was halfway between Draylax and Vega Colony, a ship with maximum speed warp one point eight, Zefram Cochrane hold a speech at the dedication ceremony for the Warp Five Complex and said that the powerful engine that will be built by the Warp Five Complex will be a hundred times faster than the engines from today. 32 years later, the warp five enginge was developed and Enterprise NX-01 was the first starship powered by that engine.
Assumption:
        • The cargo freighter Horizon, on which Travis Mayweather was born, existed already when Zefram Cochrane hold his speech at the dedication ceremony for the Warp Five Complex. It still existed when Traviss Mayweather was twenty six years old and there is nothing, that implies that the ship was "new" or on its very first trip when Travis Mayweather was born on it.

          The Warp Five Complex was supposed to develop an enginge that allows to travel with warp five.
Conclusion:
        • Warp five is at least a hundred times faster than warp one point eight. Warp five is at least 100 c.
Further consideration:
        • Warp one point eight should be already considerably faster than merely lightspeed - considering that with lightspeed the travel between star systems would need years. Four years to reach from Earth the next known star system, Alpha Centauri, and further four years to travel back to Earth. Magellans voyage of circumnavigation lasted only three years. Eight years seeems to me too long for a regular cargo trip. I mean, what could have such a value that one is ready to pay what is necessary to hire a crew for a cargo trip that lasts eight years?

          If warp one equals light speed - and warp five is at least hundred times as fast, assuming a linear increasement, warp one point eight should be at least twenty times as fast as light. But if warp one point eight is at least twenty times as fast as light, warp five, that is supposed to be hundred times faster that warp one point eight, should be far more than two thousand times faster than light,

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Re: Warp speed

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2016-04-19 07:57am

If you assume it's a linear increment.

If you don't assume that, then the problem goes away.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Borgholio » 2016-04-19 10:00am

Actual speed of warp drive as portrayed in Star Trek is wildly inconsistent. News at 11.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Elheru Aran » 2016-04-19 10:07am

Cochrane's words are obviously hyperbole anyway. Unless you can post actual visual evidence that warp 5 is a hundred times faster than warp 1, you have nothing.

And why the hell are you making such a specious connection anyway? Simply because Zefram Cochrane said it, doesn't mean that it would *literally* happen. People make pretty speeches all the time. They don't mean anything until you see results.

Finally: What's the point you're trying to make here? How is this relevant in any way?
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-04-19 12:53pm

Also, didnt the NX-01 max out at Warp 4.5 or so? Certainly in the early seasons (urgh) I can't recall her actually reaching warp 5.

Besides, even if Warp 5 is 100c it would still take two weeks to reach Alpha Centauri from Earth, this is not something we see happening, so logically warp 5 is faster.

If you want a nice high-end warp speed, look at TOS "By Any Other Name." Enterprise gets hijacked (surprisingly) and sent out to the Andromeda galaxy at (a souped up speed) of Warp 11. The 3 million light year journey will be complete in 300 years, meaning Warp 11 a speed of 10,000c. This is apparently a huge leap from what the Enterprise could normally do, as the trip would take "thousands of years" giving the E-Nil a max sustained speed of 1-3,000c.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by SCRawl » 2016-04-19 01:02pm

I'm going to reference non- (or at least lower-level) canon here. I read a Star Trek novel in the 1980s. I can't recall its title, but one of the plot devices was that a black hole opened and closed during an insanely brief period when the Enterprise was travelling at warp 2, and intersected with their path, doing damage to the computer as this occurred. They mentioned the length of the damage track, and the duration of the black hole's existence, and from that I inferred the rate of speed at which they must have travelled, and it was (almost exactly, as in something like 7.999) 8c. A simple (and reasonable) assumption is that warp 1 is 1c, warp 2 is 8c, warp 3 is 27c, etc. with the relationship warp x is x^3 c.

I have only the one data point to go on, but if the relationship is accurate warp 5 is 125c, which fits roughly in the "hundred times faster" range.

Take this for what it's worth, which, admittedly, isn't much.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-04-19 01:12pm

That was "Crisis on Centaurus." Not a bad book actually.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by SCRawl » 2016-04-19 01:20pm

I enjoyed it at the time, but I'm sure I lost possession of the physical book some time in the last thirty years, so I can't verify my claim, though I'm as sure of the numbers as I am of my own date of birth. It was in the epilogue.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Batman » 2016-04-19 01:25pm

The 'Warp factor cubed' idea is mentioned in the TMP novelization but I don't think it's ever been canonized. Also gives rather low speeds for Warp factors as mentioned onscreen.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2016-04-19 01:29pm

Elheru Aran wrote:Cochrane's words are obviously hyperbole anyway. Unless you can post actual visual evidence that warp 5 is a hundred times faster than warp 1, you have nothing.

And why the hell are you making such a specious connection anyway? Simply because Zefram Cochrane said it, doesn't mean that it would *literally* happen. People make pretty speeches all the time. They don't mean anything until you see results.

Finally: What's the point you're trying to make here? How is this relevant in any way?

I just thought - we know *exactly* how fast Warp 5 is.

"Neptune and back in 6 minutes".

This was said in Broken Bow, Trip and Archer are in the shuttle - it's just before Trip scratches the paintwork when he's not looking.

When Neptune and Earth line up on the same side of the sun, at their closest, they are only 2.7 billion miles (4.3 billon kilometers) apart. But when the planets are on opposite sides of the sun, they can put as many as 2.9 billion miles (4.7 billion km) between them.

If someone can be bothered, feel free to check the distance out on April 16, 2151. For now, I'll go with 4.5 billion km.

That's 9 billion km there and back.

For reference, Warp 9.9 is "About 4 billion miles a second" - 6437376000 km. (call it 6.5). Warp 9 can do the trip in like 1.5 seconds, give or take.

Warp 5, ENT scale, is 6 minutes. That's http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?t=cr ... +6+minutes --- 83.39 times the speed of light.

Cochrane saying they could go 100x faster ... eh it's there, give or take. I'm sure he wasn't judging it on the Horizon, probably his first flight.

Who cares? Star Trek Warp Speed is *always* Speed of Plot. There's all manner of ways to explain this in universe - "Warp Highways" where it's "easier" to go to warp, there's "dense" subspace pockets which slow you down - it's all fanon. But there's seemingly no way to internally justify Voyager taking 75 years to go 70,000 light years... or in DS9's Emissary they said it would be a 70 year trip to go 90,000 light years (within an acceptable range there for an off the cuff remark by Sisko after emerging in the gamma quadrant and staring at his screen).... and Enterprise A going from Earth to the centre of the galaxy in 7 hours in ST5.

There is no way to rationalise it - we ignore the outliers on this site- and go with an "average" - Trek warp speeds are seemingly, for the most part, between 1C and 21,000C for the normal episodes. We get occasional mistakes where warp 4 is faster than Warp 9, or "aya sir, full impulse" whilst at Warp etc - but generally until TNG, it wasn't even written down anywhere properly. So TOS speeds are all over the place. TNG is more structured, as is DS9 and VOY, but they're on a "different scale" which is a hand drawn curve on a graph - it's NOT a mathmatical scale - and still there are mistakes.

Enterprise took the idea of a scale from TNG, but the numbers that TOS was meant to represent in retrospect - and so the speech says 100 times rather than 83.4 times or whatever - I'm fine with it.

Enterprise is 10x slower than TNG times - yet the travel times between stars and episodes is incidental - it still takes as much time as needed and when it's too long, they just do a captain's log, we've been travelling for 8 days to... etc. It makes no difference to the stories, no matter the time frame or series.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Lord Revan » 2016-04-19 01:31pm

I consider the warp speeds to rather variable according to local conditions and any set list of warp factor to speed be a "under typical conditions" value rather then an iron clad value, this easily explain the various speeds mentioned for warp drive with out resorting to the "they're total morons" excuse that I dislike.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2016-04-19 01:38pm

Lord Revan wrote:I consider the warp speeds to rather variable according to local conditions and any set list of warp factor to speed be a "under typical conditions" value rather then an iron clad value, this easily explain the various speeds mentioned for warp drive with out resorting to the "they're total morons" excuse that I dislike.
Which is what we say when rationalising. It's the only thing that makes sense and... well there *are* "subspace pockets" and all manner of subspace crap they run in to all the time - even weapons capable of stopping warp drive for large volumes of space. So sure - the "warp highways" thing - some areas are faster than others to travel in.

OR, canon wise (cos IRL we know it's writers / production staff errors) the helmsmen and crew are retards who cannot into simple maths.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Batman » 2016-04-19 01:39pm

I've seen it mentioned that Warp factors don't directly reference speed but rather the intensity of the Warp field itself.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-04-19 01:44pm

Eternal Freedom wrote:Also, didnt the NX-01 max out at Warp 4.5 or so? Certainly in the early seasons (urgh) I can't recall her actually reaching warp 5.
Warp 4.9 something or other before bad things happened in Engineering. It was in that episode where Archer and company were trying to save a Vulcan ambassador/intelligence operative, something like that.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-04-19 01:47pm

Batman wrote:The 'Warp factor cubed' idea is mentioned in the TMP novelization but I don't think it's ever been canonized. Also gives rather low speeds for Warp factors as mentioned onscreen.
It originated in Franz Joseph's The Starfleet Technical Manual, canon only for Star Fleet Battles, even though it was used by FASA for their ST RPG, and by some of the novels, including the one for TMP.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2016-04-19 01:47pm

Batman wrote:I've seen it mentioned that Warp factors don't directly reference speed but rather the intensity of the Warp field itself.
yeah, I've seen this also.

I kinda like it - if we accept that warp drive isn't *really* FTL as such - space is bent around it rather than actual thrust forward at 10,000 C - then it seems the "deeper" you go into subspace, the "faster" you can move forward or bend space. To go deeper, you need more engine power. Warp 8 is *translated* as a speed - "we'll get there in 5 hours" - but it's actually a measure of a warp field. Don't they sometimes do this? Warp fields measured in "millecochraines" or something?
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Captain Seafort » 2016-04-19 02:15pm

A few more numbers to throw out for TOS speeds:

"That Which Survives" - the Enterprise was thrown 990.7 light years, set off back at warp eight, and returned in an unknown time (the only ETA given was 11.337 hours, at warp 8.4, some time after the the start of the journey), giving an (exaggerated) upper limit of 765,000c.

"Bread and Circuses" - Chekov expected to travel 1/16th of a parsec in "seconds". Even if the trip took 59 seconds (anything more would be "minutes"), this implies a speed of over 100,000c.

"Arena" - the Enterprise was thrown approximately 500 parsecs from where it was meant to be, and Kirk ordered Sulu to head back at Warp 1. Earlier in the same episode the ship travelled at least 22.3 parsecs in, at most, 0.6 stardate units, under her own power. If one stardate unit is one day, then this equates to almost 45,000c.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2016-04-19 03:49pm

Captain Seafort wrote:A few more numbers to throw out for TOS speeds:

"That Which Survives" - the Enterprise was thrown 990.7 light years, set off back at warp eight, and returned in an unknown time (the only ETA given was 11.337 hours, at warp 8.4, some time after the the start of the journey), giving an (exaggerated) upper limit of 765,000c.

"Bread and Circuses" - Chekov expected to travel 1/16th of a parsec in "seconds". Even if the trip took 59 seconds (anything more would be "minutes"), this implies a speed of over 100,000c.

"Arena" - the Enterprise was thrown approximately 500 parsecs from where it was meant to be, and Kirk ordered Sulu to head back at Warp 1. Earlier in the same episode the ship travelled at least 22.3 parsecs in, at most, 0.6 stardate units, under her own power. If one stardate unit is one day, then this equates to almost 45,000c.
Yeah TOS is all over the place. Even trips to Andromeda at "Warp 14" (whatever that is) are capable in a year or two.

I think speeds in the 10,000 C range or above, they need to be looked at as a write off. Warp 9.9 is 21,000 in my head EDIT: Ah - "4 billion miles a second" - http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=4+ ... &t=crmtb01 21K C.

That's Voyager pretty much maxing out.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Captain Seafort » 2016-04-19 04:13pm

Prometheus Unbound wrote:I think speeds in the 10,000 C range or above, they need to be looked at as a write off.
The problem with that approach is that looking at TOS in isolation indicates pretty consistently that the E-nil is capable of significantly greater speeds than 10kc - greater than 100kc. If anything it's By Any Other Name that's the outlier for suggesting she so slow.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Tribble » 2016-04-19 09:15pm

Don't forget that Voyager was stranded on the other side of the galaxy with no local knowledge nor ability to hope for regular resupply and maintenance. IMO it's not surprising that were travelling a lot slower than if they were in their own territory. Q was able to knock off a few years just by providing them with a more efficient route.

Within Federation territory, during the TNG era it seems like starships can generally go from Earth to the frontier within a matter of days. Unfortunately we don't have a canon map of Federation territory so it's hard to judge just how fast they were going.

For fun, I'll do a purely speculative estimate based on what we learn from the TNG encounters with the Borg.

In "Q-Who" system J-25 was ~7,000 ly from the nearest Starbase. Roughly a year later, in "BOBW" a Borg cube arrives in Federation space. It was speculated the Cube may have been the same one seen at J-25. Assuming this to be the case and assuming that the Borg Cube immediately started heading towards Fed space after the E-D escaped, that would mean the Cube is able to maintain ~7,000c for at least a year.

According to DS9's "Emissary" Picard was assimilated for six days during BOBW, and in that time the Cube and the E-D went from the Federation frontier to Earth. This included stopovers like the E-D's failed deflector dish attack and subsequent repairs and the Borg's fight at Wolf 359 (where for some reason they decided to loiter around until the E-D showed up), so the time spent travelling was actually somewhat shorter.

At any rate, assuming that both ships were travelling at ~7,000c over six days this would mean that Earth was ~115 ly away from the Federation frontier, at least in the direction the Borg were attacking from. That's likely a low end estimate given the stop overs, so the actual distance would be somewhat greater.

It should be noted that while the E-D was able to keep up with the Borg Cube for a several hours at a time the engines were taxed to the limit, and that combined with the deflector dish attack and battle damage ended up resulting in the engines requiring a complete overhaul afterwards. So it's unlikely that the "cruising speed" of Pre-wolf 359 Federation starships were anywhere near that fast. Later ships might be able to cruise at faster speeds and "sprint" at ~7,000c+ without the engine damage but they clearly can't maintain it for long periods given what we see on screen.

IIRC, this matches up with what we see later episodes and DS9, so it's not too far off for a rough estimate, at least for the TNG era.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Darmalus » 2016-04-19 09:37pm

From what I remember in TOS Warp Factor cubed was your speed in c and there was no silly Warp 10 = infinte nonsense, so Warp 52 was a perfectly valid Warp Factor.

In TNG Gene Roddenberry didn't like steadily increasing warp numbers and changed it. From Warp 1 to 9 your Warp Factor to the power of 10/3 was your speed in c. After Warp 9 it was some exponential formula where it approached infinity at 10.

Why Gene thought Warp 142 was worse than Warp 9.99925482605827659 or whatever, I don't know. I think the TNG+ version was far sillier.

Of course on screen portrayals tend to be all over the map. I tend to file that in the same mental drawer as the size of ships changing to meet the demands of drama.

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Re: Warp speed

Post by Tribble » 2016-04-19 09:48pm

Darmalus wrote:From what I remember in TOS Warp Factor cubed was your speed in c and there was no silly Warp 10 = infinte nonsense, so Warp 52 was a perfectly valid Warp Factor.

In TNG Gene Roddenberry didn't like steadily increasing warp numbers and changed it. From Warp 1 to 9 your Warp Factor to the power of 10/3 was your speed in c. After Warp 9 it was some exponential formula where it approached infinity at 10.

Why Gene thought Warp 142 was worse than Warp 9.99925482605827659 or whatever, I don't know. I think the TNG+ version was far sillier.

Of course on screen portrayals tend to be all over the map. I tend to file that in the same mental drawer as the size of ships changing to meet the demands of drama.
In-universe, in the TNG-era I always assumed the warp numbers were specifically for "regular" warp drives. Most ships at the start of TNG couldn't even make warp 9, and beyond that it always seemed like regular warp drives were inefficient compared to other methods. IIRC they never measure other propulsion methods like the Quantum Slipstream Drive or Transwarp via regular warp numbers, so the scale doesn't apply to them. And in any event, if "All Good Things" is an indicator the Federation do abandon the early TNG-warp numbering system and switch to another, presumably because by that time many ships are able to reach warp 9.9+ and the old system was effectively obsolete.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2016-04-20 02:42am

Captain Seafort wrote:
Prometheus Unbound wrote:I think speeds in the 10,000 C range or above, they need to be looked at as a write off.
The problem with that approach is that looking at TOS in isolation indicates pretty consistently that the E-nil is capable of significantly greater speeds than 10kc - greater than 100kc. If anything it's By Any Other Name that's the outlier for suggesting she so slow.
Sure - but none of that is then able to be integrated with TNG onwards. There was only three seasons of TOS. There's 21 seasons of TNG+ which indicate 20K is about as fast as they can go in DS9/VOY times. "Voyager's the fastest ship in the the fleet" etc.

I tend to go with TNG+ personally. If you can find a way to make 100K C fit in then be my guest :) I just can't see how both can be right.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-04-23 10:47pm

Darmalus wrote:From what I remember in TOS Warp Factor cubed was your speed in c and there was no silly Warp 10 = infinte nonsense, so Warp 52 was a perfectly valid Warp Factor.

In TNG Gene Roddenberry didn't like steadily increasing warp numbers and changed it. From Warp 1 to 9 your Warp Factor to the power of 10/3 was your speed in c. After Warp 9 it was some exponential formula where it approached infinity at 10.
Correct except that there was no formula- there was a vaguely exponential-looking hand-drawn curve on a graph.
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Re: Warp speed

Post by Darmalus » 2016-04-23 11:39pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
Darmalus wrote:From what I remember in TOS Warp Factor cubed was your speed in c and there was no silly Warp 10 = infinte nonsense, so Warp 52 was a perfectly valid Warp Factor.

In TNG Gene Roddenberry didn't like steadily increasing warp numbers and changed it. From Warp 1 to 9 your Warp Factor to the power of 10/3 was your speed in c. After Warp 9 it was some exponential formula where it approached infinity at 10.
Correct except that there was no formula- there was a vaguely exponential-looking hand-drawn curve on a graph.
This would explain why I could never find it.

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