'An Omega molecule would be so energetic that even a few molecules would, in theory, be able to power a whole civilization.'

For how long? This statement lacks prescision. --<unsigned>

Unfortunetly, we can't fix this statement, as that is all we know. Here is the episode quote:
JANEWAY: "Not just any molecule. The most powerful substance known to exist. A single Omega molecule contains the same energy as a warp core. In theory, a small chain of them could sustain a civilisation. The molecule was first synthesised over a hundred years ago, by a Starfleet physicist named Ketteract. I think he was hoping to develop an inexhaustible power source."
Janeway did not specify how long, so we cannot either. --OuroborosCobra talk 02:49, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I interpreted "sustain" to mean "power indefinitely assuming the civilization doesn't expand too much." Of course, that still leaves open the question of what KIND of civilization. Gonk (Gonk!) 15:28, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

"...even a few Omega molecules could effectively end spacefaring travel in an entire quadrant or even the entire galaxy."

I don't recall the episode taking the destruction to the galactic scale (although I could be mistaken). I seem to remember Janeway commenting on the 200 million particles the alien civilization created and stated it could take out half the quadrant. Cygnis 05:46, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I just watched it, and she did say that a big enough number of omega particles could end interstellar travel across most or all of the galaxy. Gonk (Gonk!) 15:28, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
So did I. Her words were such:
  • "Omega destroys subspace, a chain reaction involving a handful of molecules could devastate subspace throughout an entire quadrant. If that were to happen, warp travel would become impossible. Spacefaring civilization as we know it would cease to exist."
  • "If a large scale omega explosion occurs, we will lose the ability to go to warp forever."
  • "There's enough here to wipe out subspace across half the quadrant"
You must also read them in context of a ship stranded in the Delta quadrant, utilizing warp to get home (especially the second one). I may also note that #3 is referencing 200,000,000 molecules. Speculation on how much ore was required is staggering considering the Borg didn't have enough to synthesize Omega a second time after creating a single molecule. Further, the only time she mentioned galaxy was in the beginning of her briefing when she said that Starfleet saw it not only as a threat to the Federation, but to the galaxy. Logical for anything that could be used as a weapon of mass destruction. -- Cygnis 19:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)


- Why is this categorized under particles when its a molecule?

I guess were going by the borg designation of particle 010 – Alexlyoko13 02:47, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
Well, the borg are going to need to change their designation if they ever want to attain perfection. there are clear differences between particles and molecules. Thisisnotastein 16:53, April 20, 2010 (UTC)thisisnotastein
Actually, no they don't. There isn't any "thing" that is really called a "particle." There are many things which can be treated as particles for the purpose of experimentation and characterization, and molecules are one of them. Molecules are often described as the smallest particles of a chemical substance which retains its chemical properties. --OuroborosCobra talk 17:41, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
I am of the understanding that in a scientific sense particles consist of either elementary particles or groups of particles held together by nuclear interactions, as opposed to the chemical bonds of a molecule. Indeed, looking at the list of topics inside the particles subcategory support this taxonomy. The omega molecule has much more in common with the topics of the Chemistry:Chemical Compounds category.--Thisisnotastein 18:03, April 20, 2010 (UTC)thisisnotastein
Well, having studied chemistry and done a fair amount of research in the field, that's just wrong. If we're going by Wikipedia, go look at the article on molecules, which is full of their description as particles. "Elementary particles" are one thing we call particles, but they aren't the only one. There certainly is no definition of particles that is "something held together by nuclear interactions, rather than chemical." The modern scientific use of the word "particle" predates our knowledge of the strong and weak nuclear forces. Smoke is often described as being "made up of small particles." Non-carbon pollution from coal plants is described as "particle pollution." Particle beam weapons can shoot atom streams, rather than elementary particles. --OuroborosCobra talk 18:19, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
I am not denying that particle has a common usage that is far more broad than the physics definition and coming from a chemistry background I am not surprised that you are used to using it more broadly. In fact, I admit that I had trouble writing my previous comment without using the word particle because of its common definition. That being said, particle physics does exist as a branch of physics and has a specific scope that molecules do not fall under. Other scientific usages of particle (such as within colloids or powders) don't work for the omega molecule either, since they refer to larger aggregations of compounds/molecules/etc (not to mention are frequently more accurately referred to as particulates, such as in air or water pollution). Once again, just look at the topics listed under the particles and chemical compound categories. The omega molecule clearly belongs in the chemical compound category.--Thisisnotastein 19:17, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think real life is the issue star trek it was called a "particle" so that's what it should be classified as. In the future "particle" has been redefined...— Morder (talk) 19:34, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
Only among the borg, yes? the UFP considered it a molecule.--Thisisnotastein 19:37, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
Possibly, it's been a while since I've seen the episode and I'd have to really check... :) — Morder (talk) 19:42, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
So physics is the only science that is relevant to the universe now? I personally find that quite insulting. So will biologists, astronomers, doctors, etc. I also greatly doubt the idea that physics only treats things using the nuclear forces as particles. I have never, NEVER seen a definition that called for that. Ever. I've done a lot in this area. I cannot fathom how treating this as only a physics problem makes any sense to you anyways, since you are trying to classify this in chemistry. Classifying it as a compound is also not proper. Tell me, do you know the chemical composition? The empirical formula? Do you know it consists of more than one type of atom? --OuroborosCobra talk 21:17, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
Just in case if it was I that insulted you as I had no intent to do so...basically I view his issue as being they called it a "molecule" and "particle" in the episode so either could be correct. So why did we choose one and not the other or can we choose both? Frankly, I don't see that it makes much difference...but to each his own. :) — Morder (talk) 21:24, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
You aren't the one who tried to say that physics is the only science that matters, so it wasn't you ;-) --OuroborosCobra talk 21:40, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
But it is... :) I figured but I just felt bad that you took offense anyway...for the record I agree with your stance about particles. But I'm trying to look at this from the episode PoV rather than real world...since star trek always messes up in the real world... — Morder (talk) 21:43, April 20, 2010 (UTC)
In this particular case, biology/medicine/astronomy are irrelevant. Physics and chemistry are the only relevant disciplines because we are talking about the taxonomy of matter at small scales. I certainly didn't mean to insult you, but I am not going to back away from this claim. Physics is clear, they have a branch dedicated to particles and it does not include molecules. Memory Alpha's database is consistent with this view. Other than the Omega molecule, most of the other listed particles would fall under the umbrella of particle physics (if they existed) and the ones that don't strictly fall under that category are atomic/ionic particles. The category even redirects from "subatomic particles". Chemistry is less clear but in both colloidal and rheology particles are used to mean groupings larger than single molecules. According to Memory Alpha's current classification scheme, the chemical compounds category already includes many molecules (along with compounds of larger scales). I don't find the preceding to be particularly controversial. We are left with determining whether the Omega Molecule is a molecule or a particle. The dialogue of the episode is unfortunately contradictory, with Seven of Nine referring to it as a molecule (~8m15s, 10m10s, 12m13s, 22m08s) before saying the Borg classified it as Particle 010 (34m28s). Paris, upon seeing a schematic of omega, also called it a molecule without prompting (17m55s). Soon after, Janeway referred to the molecule as being able to form a chain, something that would be very unusual for a particle regardless of which way you use it but par for the molecular course. At 18m27s Janeway actually referred to a 'single molecule particle', presumably just to confuse us :) (along those lines: earlier in the show, she also referred to a shockwave as a 'particle wave'. it is not the writers' finest work). The alien scientist also refers to Omega as a molecule. In fact, Omega is referred to as a molecule almost exclusively outside of the borg designation, even by Seven. At 21m11s, when Seven is showing Janeway her harmonic resonance chamber, she says that the inverse frequency it can produce will be enough to dissolve omega's interatomic bonds, proving that it does have multiple atoms and chemical bonds. Despite the contradictions of the dialogue, Omega is clearly a molecule. Thus it belongs in the Chemical Compounds category.--Thisisnotastein 00:24, April 21, 2010 (UTC)
Well the Borg, and there for Seven whould be the experts in this case, the UFP did not study Omega – Alexlyoko13 00:21, April 21, 2010 (UTC)
UFP did study Omega, thats where the directive came from in the first place.--Thisisnotastein 00:24, April 21, 2010 (UTC)
The borg studied it intesly, to the point that they were allmost able permantely stablize Omega – Alexlyoko13 00:45, April 21, 2010 (UTC)
Both Alex and Stein are missing the point of Cobra's and Morder's replies. While a molecule is not technically TODAY classified as a particle, in the Star Trek universe (from which perspective MA is writing from), it IS considered a particle. It's useless to continue the back and forth over how it is classified today. The point is, canonly, in Star Trek, it is a particle. I think both of you could use some imagination lessons.--Obey the Fist!! 16:30, April 22, 2010 (UTC)
Well, Canonly it's both, cause it was called both. At which point I think it could be reasonable to look at the real world definition of how particles and molecules act. If it acts like one and not the other, call it by the one. But still have a note that it was called both. Just my 2 darseks
Molecules act like particles. --OuroborosCobra talk 18:13, April 22, 2010 (UTC)


I challenge the 3.2 seconds stability statement, so correct accordingly. It was stated by 7 of 9 that she saw the omega molecules for 3.2 seconds, so the stability time was beyond that 3.2 seconds, the molecule was stable for 25 seconds minimum, if you take the time as real time in the episode. Again it was 7 of 9 who stated literally: "for 3.2 seconds, I saw perfection", beyond that it was stable too, until Tuvok destroyed them.--Faustolg201.247.28.7 04:26, July 19, 2010 (UTC)

Destruction of Subspace Edit

When they say it "Destroys Subspace". Do they mean that so space just degrades and the space-time-continouum there is gone? Or Subspace is destabilizsd and has major effects on all layers of space and matter?. And both the former and the latter, could Subspace naturally (overtime or by phenomena) or synthetically (some futuristic technology/subspace device {past 24th century}) restabilize/reform. CaptainAlphaWiki22 (talk) 21:44, February 26, 2016 (UTC)

Please note that article talk pages are not for general questions about the 'Star Trek universe. -- Capricorn (talk) 22:57, February 26, 2016 (UTC)

Ok? What does that have to do with this? CaptainAlphaWiki22 (talk) 17:50, February 29, 2016 (UTC)

You asked a general question about the episode. This is not the place to do that, talk pages are for discussing specific problems with the article. The correct place to ask questions like yours is here -- Capricorn (talk) 06:14, March 1, 2016 (UTC)

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