GrahamKennedy wrote:The TNG TM posits some sort of as yet unknown cascade effect which involves matter transitioning into subspace. There's not a lot of detail given though.
It kind of makes sense if the target moves into subspace as it vapourises; would explain why we don't see the vapour.
Not a bad idea. Though then I'm left with the question of "why bother"? If the phaser has some sort of ability to transfer matter to subspace, why not just skip the vapourising (which alone would take shitloads of energy, presumably) and just transfer the whole body to subspace without changing the state?
Also, and do correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the energy required to vapourise a human also cause his clothes to burst into flames? I'd imagine that the ignition temperature of fabric would be less than the vapourising temperature of flesh and bone. The fact that there are no visible effects on fabrics either being worn or being stood on (all those carpets on the E-D) leads me to believe that the "vapourise" setting doesn't actually involve all that much heat, even during the "slow" vapourisations. Thus I tend to favour some sort of technobabble sollution. The idea of the victim being tossed into subspace is a pretty interesting one, I think.
GrahamKennedy wrote:Since the lack of vapour can already be explained by a process we're assuming exists either way, then I don't really see the need for that assumption. Like I said, phasers are expected to be able to heat rock to thousands of degrees. We know that even in the Enterprise era, even the stun setting could be used to boil water. I'd be kind of surprised if they were not vapourising bodies whilst doing whatever else.
While it may seem like a pretty clear-cut case, I'm still somewhat unsure about the heat effects of a phaser beam. As I pointed out above, clothing is rarely (if ever?) damaged by being hit. And if a stun setting can boil water, you'd surely expect some sort of scorch marks on the clothes worn, yet we rarely see such effects.
Personally, I tend to just shove the phaser beam's mechanics under the "inexplicable technobabble" heading. It solves a lot of these problems.
GrahamKennedy wrote:Oh, it's worth noting also that in "Obsession", Kirk orders his men to "Set your phasers on disrupter beam. If you see any gaseous cloud, fire immediately." Later on he orders "I want four men armed with phaser two set for disrupter effect."
Which makes it seem like phasers have disrupter beam settings as an additional, separate-from-normal capability.
Which if so, indicates that phasers can heat/vapourise, stun, possibly do some wacky subspace transfer effect, AND have a disrupter effect as well.
Hmm, interesting. Perhaps the disruptor effect was simply a sort of pulse-fire mode, as opposed to the continuous beam we usually see? It'd certainly save on ammo.
GrahamKennedy wrote:And that's before we even get into the idea that they can fire nanoprobes.
Who the hell did Starfleet contract to design these things? The Swiss?
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