STXI Nit

Discussion of the new run of Star Trek XI+ movies and any spinoffs

Re: STXI Nit

Postby Sionnach Glic » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:17 pm

Mikey wrote:If the phaser beam imparts that much heat, then vaporization at those settings wouldn't be an option - it would be simply part and parcel of the effect. In other words, if the phaser beam transfers that much heat, then the target will be vaporized... nobody has to add a particular vaporization setting.

As to clothing, etc.: I'd imagine that if enough heat was imparted quickly enough, there would be no discernable ignition, and kit would be vaporized along with meat.


I suppose that's possible, but what about the carpet? Shouldn't there at least be a scorch mark?
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby zero_saiyaman » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:14 pm

There's a big problem with saying the phaser vaporizes via heat: the phaser is a narrow beam.

A blow torch doesn't melt an entire slab of metal, just the narrow area its focused on. No matter how hot a beam of whatever is, it can only heat the local area it immediately touches, any spreading of that heat is then rate limited to the thermal conductance of the material. In short, a phaser would just shoot through someone, just as a high powered laser will do, leaving a neat little hole with some surrounding scorching -- there would never be vaporization, period.

Not to mention, that being a solid object, the actual term is sublimation (solid transition to gas without a liquid intermediate, i.e. the bones), with vaporization of the blood mixed in (liquid to gas). So we're also talking about sublimation. And, to make matters worst, a living body is a heterogeneous mixture of materials of various densities, heat capacities, and thermal conductivity.

So no, ho matter how hot the phaser is, even if infinite, unless it radiated that heat ubiquitously in a human sized cone, full body vaporization is a physical impossibility. Just a neat little hole.

Thus, the vaporization effect, which looks like the material is being eaten up, not transitioning between phases or states of matter, must be by some other mechanism.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Tyyr » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:22 pm

That's actually a very good point. The thermal energy of the beam is going to take time to propogate through the target, and its not going to look anything like what is shown on screen. In fact if it did transfer enough energy to sublimate solid matter you'd get a very messy explosion in the target's chest, not a peaceful conversion to vapor.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby kostmayer » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:57 pm

I'm curious as to what it was about the parasites in Conspiracy that made Quinn immune to a Phasers stun effect, and Remmick's head withstand a sustained blast from both Rikers and Picards phaser beams - well, until his head exploded.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Mikey » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:01 pm

Some change in neurotransmitter density, or somesuch, would be my guess. The phasers have been stated to stun through directly acting on humanoid central nervous systems, rather than as a by-product of a more general effect. Immunity to such an effect, rendered by a being that functions through the same nervous system, doesn't seem to be a stretch.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Captain Seafort » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:05 pm

They mentioned in the episode that Quinn had elevated adrenalin, which might have that effect, explaining the stun effect fair enough. How does it explain Remmick?
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Mark » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:51 pm

Bigger monster=more resistance to damage, maybe? His physiology MUST have been altered to sustain that monster.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby kostmayer » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:37 pm

Was the monster in Remmick during the episode "Coming of Age"?

It seemed that the other parasites couldn't survive without the monster (I wonder over what range the mother controlled the parasites - must have been lightyears at least). It had to be somewhere. If so it would have been the perfect oppurtunity to infect the ship.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:50 pm

Sionnach Glic wrote:
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?


Well it may be inherent in the process. Like saying "nukes cause so much blast and fire, why bother with the radiation?"

As for how much energy... well who knows? As with much in Trek the numbers are somewhat confusing and contradictory. Ten or so megajoules to a shot in Ent, as I recall from Regeneration. Kira said Cardie disrupter rifles had "a four-point-seven megajoule power capacity... three millisecond recharge", take your pick what that means. 4.7 MJ per shot? With a three msec recharge that would equate to 1.5 GW. I can buy a 200 year advance making it 150 x more powerful than a phase pistol. Or is it 4.7 MJ for the whole rifle, making each shot a fraction of that? But Kira also said the Type 3 Federation rifle was less powerful... and even under testing one of those fired a megawatt or so, for a prolonged period. But then Voyager came across a Terawatt rifle once and didn't seem to think it was a big deal.

If it's taking GJ to phaserate people, then vapourising them along the way probably isn't a big deal at all.

But clearly the whole target doesn't just vanish into subspace in one lump. You might argue that for TOS phaser effects, but this...

Image

...says otherwise. If the effect is leaping from molecule to molecule and "transitioning" them one at a time, then it's pretty much vapourising them by default.

As always with such things, your conclusions will depend on the biases you operate under in interpreting the evidence.

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.


Well it's hard to say exactly how flammable 24th century fabrics are. But Lore used a phaser on Beverly in Datalore :

Image

And her clothing DID catch fire, even though from the appearance of the beam it was a very low power shot :

Image

Like the vapour, though; on high level shots all that would be getting sucked into subspace along with the matter and all the rest of it.

I will say, if the target does transition into subspace all in one piece... it brings to mind the possibility that when set on "vapourise", phasers don't kill people! All those people we see vapourised might still be floating around in subspace... alive... :)

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.


Like I say, zapped into subspace. And we have seen heat effects on clothing. We've also heard reference to "phaser burns" if I recall correctly. For instance the stun setting to the head used in ST VI left what looked like a burn mark.

Personally, I tend to just shove the phaser beam's mechanics under the "inexplicable technobabble" heading. It solves a lot of these problems. :lol:


If it isn't a formal law that "There is always the explanation that 'it's jut a TV show, stupid!'", then it should be!

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.


No, I think we see them use the phasers and it's a normal looking beam.

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?


I once had a long discussion on this, a lot of which ended up in the phaser article on the DITL. My theory was that phasers were built like swiss army knives, with various different weapons in one casing. But there's the possibility that the phaser "crystal" can produce all kinds of different beams if you pump energy into it in different ways. It's weird, but hey, these are weapons OF THE FUTURE! after all. I look at the last hundred years of weapon advances and hesitate to posit what they WON'T be able to do in another 400.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Tsukiyumi » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:03 am

GrahamKennedy wrote:I will say, if the target does transition into subspace all in one piece... it brings to mind the possibility that when set on "vapourise", phasers don't kill people! All those people we see vapourised might still be floating around in subspace... alive... :)


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Re: STXI Nit

Postby kostmayer » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:06 am

The transporting of the victim into subspace might not be such a silly theory - it might explain why you can often still hear the victim screaming after they've disappeared into the ether.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Mark » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:53 am

I'm pretty sure the piecemeal transitioning would kill them......because if they were transported alive, those subspace bug reserchers would have experimented on THEM :mrgreen:
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Mikey » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:50 am

Maybe all those people who got "phaser-ized" ended up in the same place to which all lost ball-point pens go. ;)
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Sonic Glitch » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:09 am

Mikey wrote:Maybe all those people who got "phaser-ized" ended up in the same place to which all lost ball-point pens go. ;)

Or that one sock in the laundry.
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Re: STXI Nit

Postby Sionnach Glic » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:21 pm

Mikey wrote:Maybe all those people who got "phaser-ized" ended up in the same place to which all lost ball-point pens go. ;)


Nah, the loss of those pens are likely to have been caused by Anoia. I think Redshirts are a bit too big to get lost down the back of a sofa.
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