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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

What is Subspace? A fan theory.

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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 01:59pm 

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Joined: 2009-04-18 10:53pm
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Location: Ruston, Louisiana
I was watching Chuck's review of Star Trek VI to pass some time and of course, it starts with Praxis going boom. We've hashed out that the explosion seems to grow stronger the further away it travels from Praxis, meaning that it can't be an explosion as we know it. I've also been playing Star Trek Online, and the supernova that blew up Romulus was supposed to be triggered from the Hobus system and used subspace to travel to Romulus and destroy it. Now, according to Star Trek Online, the detonation was caused in secret by the Remens using protomatter. So... what the hell?

We have two instances of explosions that seem to travel through subspace and cause interactions with normal matter while at the same time gaining additional energy as it expands. According to Memory Alpha, subspace communications do not suffer from the radius squared degradation common of real space communications, so in some way it acts in ways that aren't linear as we understand vectors travelling through space. There are certain particles, such as tetryon particles, that can only exist naturally in subspace, so there are vast differences between what we can observe in real space and what we observe happening in subspace.

One thing I noticed while doing a bit of research for this article is Starfleet's reliance on subspace amplifiers and relays. With the statement that subspace communications do not suffer from radius squared degradation, it would seem that any communication sent from anywhere in the universe would be heard. So why would there need to be relays? I put forward that subspace doesn't operate entirely in three dimensions but rather in a more limited 2.5 dimensions. We typically see starships maneuvering in two dimensions, with the third only used to allow ships to maneuver up and around. If that's the case, it takes more energy to shift in the third dimension than it does in two, focusing energy into a band of two dimensional expansion.

That would explain the ring from Praxis, but doesn't explain how the ring gained energy as it travelled, since it would still be subject to the radius squared law, or how communications still need relays. Well, Geordi once referred to subspace as "...a huge honeycomb with an infinite number of cells". So what if that's true? A two dimensional field made up of cells, with a barrier between each cell.

Image

This explanation lends nicely to the idea regarding Praxis, in that we saw a huge explosion that rippled out, but it didn't damage anyone beyond the sector they were in that we're aware of. So what if the Praxis explosion expanded through subspace, creating a ripple through the particles already present in subspace and then dissipating when it hit the cell's border? If that's the case, then by using amplifiers, they can bridge the sector's barriers and allow real time communications. And since starships can breach the subspace barriers, over time they would begin to degrade, as explained in TNG.

So... that explains everything except the supernova. Wouldn't the energy in the supernova simply dissipate as it hits the sector barriers? Well yes, except that by using protomatter, which has been observed to reignite stars, the star's energy was greatly enhanced and forced into subspace. That much energy is far, far beyond the energy commonly observed in subspace travel, communications, or even during the Praxis explosion. That much energy could reasonably breach the sector's barriers and continue onward. It would severely damage subspace as well, making any investigation into the explosion even harder (though this gets written off when your character conveniently shows up to solve the flipping obvious).
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Crazedwraith
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 03:59pm 

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Location: Cheshire, England
Quote:
I was watching Chuck's review of Star Trek VI to pass some time and of course, it starts with Praxis going boom. We've hashed out that the explosion seems to grow stronger the further away it travels from Praxis, meaning that it can't be an explosion as we know it.


Wait? What? You've lost me right at the starting gate there. What proof of that is there? Praxis explosion is possibly subspace based because its FTL.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 06:30pm 

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Indeed. It blew away a goodly portion of Praxis and apparently ruined the Klingon Homeworld's ecosphere. By the time it hit NCC-2000, it...shook the ship enough to shatter a coffee cup. Methinks Baffalo has it mixed up with the TNG 'New Ground' soliton wave.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 08:08pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
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Crazedwraith wrote:
Praxis explosion is possibly subspace based because its FTL.


It's subspace based because of this exchange from STVI:

Shit starts shaking, coffee cup breaks, alarm sounds.
Mr. Valtane: "I have an energy wave at 204 degrees mark 6 port Sir."
Sulu: "Visual......my..God! Shields! SHIELDS!"
Big shockwave, bad shit happens, people fall out of bed.
Helmsman: "She's not answering her helm!"
Sulu: "Starboard thrusters! Turn her into the wave!"
Helmsman: "Aye!"
Sulu: "quarter impulse power....damage report!"
Crewman: "Checking all systems Captain."
Sulu: "Don't tell me that was any meteor shower."
Mr. Valtane: "Negative sir. A subspace shockwave originating at bearing 323 mark 75...location: it's Praxis sir, it's a Klingon moon."

Emphasis mine.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 08:17pm 

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Which confirms that it was some sort of subspace phenomenon (which we already knew what with the damn thing apparently being FTL to begin with). Doesn't say beans about the 'gains energy as it expands' aspect. Especially as the damage it did to Excelsior amounted to one shattered coffee cup.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 08:24pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
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My apologies, I misread Crazedwraith's comment. Still, I tihnk it might prove helpful to have the original quote right there.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 08:32pm 

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And it absolutely does, sorry if I came across as condescending. My main beef is with the 'gains energy' angle, which is evidenced by nothing whatsoever in TUC.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 08:47pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
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Location: Bound in a nutshell
Indeed.

So this thing blasts the moon apart, and judging by that computer graphic, scatters a good portion or it's mass. The same explosion causes "a deadly pollution of [Quo'nos] ozone. The klingong homeworld will be uninhabitable in 50 Earth-years." Sounds like a long-term ecological disaster rather than an instant "boom boom dead" kinda thing. I can't help but think that the explosion used most of it's energy shattering Praxis and Quo'nos was fucked over by the UV light from the blast.
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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2012-02-02 11:47am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2009-04-18 10:53pm
Posts: 634
Location: Ruston, Louisiana
Yes, I did confuse it with the soliton wave. My bad. That throws a big chunk of my theory out the window.
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