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Sci Fi TV science or fiction?

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Finnforest View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 22 2013 at 19:06
Plausible in theory, fiction, somewhere in between.  Possibly maybe, or not a chance in hell?

Being a fan of SciFi tv, I thought it might be fun to have a thread where we could ask about the technologies presented in Sci Fi shows like Star Trek/Battlestar Gallactica/Stargate, and discuss whether such technologies could ever come to fruition, even in thousands of years time, or whether they are impossible.  Or just general questions about your favorite Sci Fi series.  Books would be OK too if you wish. 

I've asked Dean questions before about these shows, knowing his science background, and his responses have been a lot of fun to read.  So I thought bringing in other people would be similarly fun, we have several really smart guys here in math and science. 

I've always wondered about the validity of gate travel type stuff as well as warp speed, weaponry, and those cool tissue regenerators and diagnostic hand-held devices the Doctors use.  But I'll start with what is probably an easy one.

We all know there is a wealth of space trash floating out there, plus meteor fields, and god knows what else.  At slow speed I would assume Federation ships simply scan and avoid anything that could hurt the hull of the ship.  But when a ship jumps to warp, wouldn't the speed be so fast that there would be no way the ship could make quick dodge maneuvers?  Thus, wouldn't the ship eventually hit a large meteor or whatever and be destroyed by the impact at such a speed?  Does anyone know how they supposedly deal with objects when moving that fast?

And how about you?  What have you always wanted to know about your favorite Sci Fi television series' technology?

Edit: This thread started as a place to discuss the technology of these shows, but feel free to indulge your fandom by discussing plot as well.  Smile




Edited by Finnforest - August 16 2013 at 23:37

Merry Christmas!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2013 at 19:18
I still believe Nintendo has a portal where they gather info of Pokemon to our world, Embarrassed, wishful thinking 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 09:33
I enjoy watching the various sci-fi shows on tv and usually don't worry much about the science aspects.
It's fiction after all and they obviously stretch the truth and boundaries to keep it exciting.
My wife always used to tell at me for overanalyzing the shows so I just grin and enjoy them these days.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 09:42
Originally posted by Finnforest Finnforest wrote:



We all know there is a wealth of space trash floating out there, plus meteor fields, and god knows what else.  At slow speed I would assume Federation ships simply scan and avoid anything that could hurt the hull of the ship.  But when a ship jumps to warp, wouldn't the speed be so fast that there would be no way the ship could make quick dodge maneuvers?  Thus, wouldn't the ship eventually hit a large meteor or whatever and be destroyed by the impact at such a speed?  Does anyone know how they supposedly deal with objects when moving that fast?


I guess they tried to thinly justify this by having the actors punch coordinates into the computer before the jump to warp speed implying that some super advanced future (past) computer would be able to handle the calculations needed to navigate at such impossible speeds. This just isn't possible. I mean this could be attacked on a number of grounds, but aside from even worrying about how you would navigate obstacles, the human body could never survive the massive g-force experienced by the jump to warp. You'd have trouble with constructing a ship that wouldn't crumble.

Super fast travel like this will most likely involve gradual accelerations with low fuel costs (ion thruster, solar sail) or exploitation of spatial-geometric anomalies (worm holes, folding).
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 09:46
What technology is to science fiction, magic is to fantasy.  That's how I always thought of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 09:52
Well depending on where the scifi you read places on the Mohs scale, there's a bit of a difference. Magic need only be consistent in the self-contained world of the novel. The technology needs an internal and external consistency.
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 10:19
I think there is a bit of a stretch on many of these but I came across this article a while back on "Top 10 "Star Trek Technologies That Actually Came True".. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 10:49
Originally posted by Finnforest Finnforest wrote:



We all know there is a wealth of space trash floating out there, plus meteor fields, and god knows what else.  At slow speed I would assume Federation ships simply scan and avoid anything that could hurt the hull of the ship.  But when a ship jumps to warp, wouldn't the speed be so fast that there would be no way the ship could make quick dodge maneuvers?  Thus, wouldn't the ship eventually hit a large meteor or whatever and be destroyed by the impact at such a speed?  Does anyone know how they supposedly deal with objects when moving that fast?

At the velocities you are considering any matter that gets in the way will tend to make a nasty mess, simple e=½mv² kinetic energy calculations show how much energy is involved. Also the same formula tells you how difficult it is to decelerate from those velocities (which affects manoeuvrability)
 
If we assume that all the impossibles have been overcome (by magic) and we can actually accelerated to these velocities and maintain them, then the best method of collision avoidance would be a deflector system, and this principle is used in Star Trek, (the "shields" are primarily particle deflectors for use at warp speed that were later used in defensive role)... and in Casey Jones (where deflecting cows was easier that trying to manoeuvre around them)
 

 

 
Of course the other impossible thing in Star Trek is the long range sensor array that is used in conjunction with the deflector system at warp speeds... when travelling at warp the sensor scans ahead of the ship, which means its beam is travelling faster than the ship. For communication at warp Star Trek invented Transwarp and Subspace, neither of which would detect objects in the path of the ship at ftl speeds as they operate outside standard space-time, so quite how the long range sensors work is anyone's guess




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 10:59
Thanks Dean and Pat....just found this little item on Amazon.  Looked at the sample pages and saw "inertial dampers" being explained, so I'm getting this.  No doubt I will have more questions after I read itLOL

http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Star-Trek-Lawrence-Krauss/dp/0465002048/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374594811&sr=8-1&keywords=science+of+star+trek

Merry Christmas!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Padraic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 10:59
Don't analyze Star Trek for anything realistic.  It's a fun show.  Just watch and enjoy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 11:23
No way, man!  I love to think about the technology and its possibilities....that's probably the most fun part of the show for me along with the politics between the factions. 

I realize most of it is a pipe dream, but then again wasn't travel to the moon just such a fantasy a couple hundred years ago?Smile

Merry Christmas!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 11:25
still is Wink




If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 11:50
I love watching Sagan's take on this stuff too.....though it's now old tv and perhaps outdated, i still enjoy his way of explaining these things to people





Merry Christmas!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VOTOMS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 11:53
I love everything about sci-fi series, anime and comics, books, movies... space opera, cyberpunk and steampunk are my favorites. well, almost the whole genre. 
By the way, Star Trek made the first cell phone ever. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Padraic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 12:19
Sagan was great Jim, used to love watching the old Cosmos shows on PBS.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 12:24
Originally posted by VOTOMS VOTOMS wrote:

By the way, Star Trek made the first cell phone ever. 
Except they didn't. The key word there is "cell" and Star Trek communicators were not part of a cellular network, they were point-to-point, much like a walkie-talkie or the 2-way radios used in taxis (or even aircraft & ships come to that) and those had been around since the 1930s. Even if you are refering to personal communicators, then Dick Tracy predates James T Kirk by several decades.
 
File:Dt2wrr.jpg




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 12:28
Originally posted by Padraic Padraic wrote:

Sagan was great Jim, used to love watching the old Cosmos shows on PBS.
Man, I feel old. I saw it when it was first aired, bought the book and the soundtrack album.




If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 12:28
Originally posted by Padraic Padraic wrote:

Sagan was great Jim, used to love watching the old Cosmos shows on PBS.


Sagan was good. Neil deGrasse Tyson is not. And the promos for the new Cosmos look utterly atrocious.
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 12:29
Jules Verne, Mysterious Island, underwater cell phones, predates Dick Tracy by several decades.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2013 at 12:35
Originally posted by Padraic Padraic wrote:

Sagan was great Jim, used to love watching the old Cosmos shows on PBS.


I bought the whole series on DVD for my niece when she was about 10.  Was hoping to plant the seed of imagination and an interest in space...i think it worked. 

Merry Christmas!



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