Memory Alpha

Talk:Speed of light

Back to page

42,169pages on
this wiki
Add New Page

Citations needed Edit

Although generally accepted, the source for the claim of warp 1 equaling the speed of light needs to be cited as to both TOS and TNG era shows (which have different warp scales.) And where was "FTL" used as a term in Trek? Aholland 04:49, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I found citations and inserted them. But I also removed extraneous information to the article; corrected the physics summary; and removed "photon" as - strictly speaking - photons travel at the speed of light rather than determine the speed of light. Aholland 04:45, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Aging differently at warp speed?Edit

I have always wondered whether Star Trek has addressed the question of aging differently due to space travel. For example, the classic twin paradox says that if one twin left Earth, traveled at high velocities for a while, then returned to Earth, he would be younger than his twin who stayed on Earth the whole time.

Hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't relativity conflict with the fact that ship crews seem to age independently of the speed they are traveling at or whether they are traveling at all?

Any Star Trek answer (or fan answer) would be appreciated. - Jdvelasc 06:30, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

The entire point of warp drive is that relativity does not apply. If it did, then one could not travel faster than light. Warp drive works by bending space itself, rather than physically moving through it. Given those, relativistic aging is not a problem. --OuroborosCobra talk 09:02, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Wait, I thought Voyager was given a divice to fold space, so therefor, would this device be useless compared to the warp drive, if they serve the same function? 03:58, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
There is a huge difference between bending space and folding it. --OuroborosCobra talk 04:27, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Not canon I guess, but I know the TNG tech manual mentions that relativistic effects are an issue at impulse speeds, and therefore suggests limiting travel time spent at sub-light. But yeah, at warp it ain't an issue. - old school trek fan.
I know for a fact that full impulse is 1/4 the speed of light (0.25c), so I'm sure that relativistic issues aren't all that bad...not as bad as, say, traveling at 0.90c or something that high. Perhaps the limit is self-imposed, for reasons stemming from relativity. -TerranRich 17:01, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Full impulse may in fact not be 0.25c, since in The Motion Picture they traveled at 80% c on impulse drive. In fact, I don't know of any canon reference to 1/4 c. --OuroborosCobra talk 17:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
There's actually an in-universe deduction that makes sense of this: Did you ever wonder why the ONLY episode ever which did not involve time travel was ALSO the only episode ever in which no character was on a ship traveling under impulse drive? It is really no coincidence. Impulse drives contain within them a time travel component which time travels the passengers to the correct timeframe when impulse travel stops. The science of impulse is described at Impulse, the science of time travel is described at Time travel, and the episode in question is "Family". Tenderly, I remain - Canon Lover.
Only episode not using time travel...WHAT? That made no sense. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
What part of that makes no sense? Time travel is as common in startrek as aliens. That is to say, the ONLY episode to not feature aliens was the same episode that featured no time travel. Oh... wait... I am wrong. Worf was in Family. SORRY looks like aliens are a little more common after all - by one episode (100% of episodes vs. 99.86% of episodes) The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) at {{{2}}}.
Either you are making a poor attempt at humor, or you are just being annoying. We have a list of time travel episodes, and is isn't 700 some odd long, and it isn't only missing "Family". --OuroborosCobra talk 05:59, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Gee whiz, bird, you are right! In order to make up for having inadvertently annoyed you, I will make sure that that incomplete list gets updated. For example, in "Emergence", Enterprise-D traveled at max. impulse (high sub-c) speed for a week, yet time-dilation was reversed, keeping the crew in the appropriate time frame relative to Starfleet command, their off-ship families, etc. (since no age dis-correlations were ever reported). Thank you for pointing out to the community how slipshod the list keeping got in this case. Basically every on-screen occurrence of impulse travel must be noted there for reasons that must by now be clear. I will get started. I hope your irritation has been soothed overnight. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) at {{{2}}}.
I thought Kirk ordered Sulu to take the Enterprise to Warp 0.5 when they left space dock in the motion picture? How does that calculate to 80% C? -Davisn456 02:26, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
If you're talking about the comment above by OuroborosCobra 17:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC), he says at impulse. So if what they actually said was 0.5 warp, then he's just wrong and you shouldn't get wound up about his 80%c comment. Anyway, there's no way to convert from warp to c-units, so, if the movie actually said 80%c, then they weren't at warp, and you're the one who has it wrong. 03:41, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
i agree with the self eating chemical snake; relativistic time isn't really a factor EVEN at impulse. Now this is just conjecture, but have you ever wondered why its such a big deal that the warp core goes off line? My biggest guess is that it's always running, period. that is to say that it is constantly projecting a warp bubble. at impulse the bubble is being projected, but not distorted, thus the need for more conventional thrust. But by the act of moving, the bubble itself distorts the space around it, effectively turning relativity on its head, meaning that the constant warp bubble uses relativity itself to cancel out the whole 'twin paradox'. Flame me if you think im wrong or you have something better - FarFallen
I always thought the reason why it was such a big deal is because without it, it would take centuries to get anywhere at impulse. - TerranRich 17:10, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Judging from some VOY episodes, impulse-only means not only would it take forever even if you could sustain high impulse, but impulse-only essentially means you'll run out of fuel long before you even get to a place where you can procure or mine any more of it. Anyway, also, confinement to impulse-only frequently put them at a tactical disadvantage in conflicts, even when the warp drive was expected to be restored. The problem always that it couldn't be restored soon enough.
It's really very simple why we don't see major age differences while traveling at impulse (in which we physically move through space, unlike Warp drive which warps space around the ship).
In Trek, impulse is not really that fast compared to the speed of light. Remember that you aren't multiplying the time dilation parallel to the increase in speed. In other words, if you double your speed, you don't double the time dilation.
Time dilation is only important for computers that require absolute perfection, like GPS satellites. As speed approaches the speed of light, there would be very little noticeable difference until, say, .9c or so. At that point, the time dilation curve would spike sharply the closer you came to the speed of light. 19:35, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
The Warp Bubble or shell you hear them commonly babbling on about, consists of an area of "flat" space. The ship resides in this space.. the space outside of the bubble is expanding and contracting in a manor similar to a wave. The Ship is not actually moving but the space around it is. This allows the ship to move faster than light without any time dilation.. Now this is not the same as folding space. Folding space allows for one Point to come in contact with any other point in space. Both are means of exceeding light speed without time dilation. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) at {{{2}}}.
As I understand this debate, Impulse = 'normal' fusion powered propulsion, which if correct, is subject to time dilation. Also, unless i miss my mark, the difference between 80% impulse and 0.5 warp is profound. while i seem to remember that the upper limit of impulse is 1c, it is feasible to engage warp drive at under that limit, thus negating the problem (for reasons stated above) of time dilation. also, traveling at .8c for minutes (or hours) at a time would be a negligible amount of time differential; basically one may return mere minutes younger, so to speak.– Farfallen 18:51, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Warp and Time Travel Edit

Does anyone know how it was rationalized that faster-than-light travel can occur without time travel also occurring? For Warp to be possible, it seems that the theory of relativity would have to be thoroughly and completely refuted, and current experiments would have to be shown to be really badly flawed-- It's not just the impossibility of lightspeed travel, but also the weirder aspects of the theory, such as the fact that two events that appear to be "simultaneous" from one place may appear to occur at different times from another POV. This effect would make it impossible for two ships that are light-years apart to communicate "simultaneously." Dirty tricks such as sub-space wouldn't solve the problem: they would create bizarre causal loops instead. -- 13:32, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

It is all rationalized with the existence of subspace. --Pseudohuman 13:42, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone know how it was rationalized? What case fiction can be presented when reality differs? Fiction exists and if it wasn't then it wouldn't be fiction and real stuff has to be rationalized. But, Star Trek subspac does it. Time travel is caused by everything in the world but not lightspeed - in Star Tres univeerse. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) at {{{2}}}.

Why is contaminating a culture an issue if they don't have warp drive? Edit

Why? What would gaining the ability to travel faster than light have to do with first contact? why is it okay to make first contact after warp drive is invented (again) but not before? what does warp drive do to their culture to make it impervious to change? wouldn't making first contact after warp drive is invented contaminate their culture too? -- 15:26, January 10, 2010 (UTC)

Talk pages are generally not for "idle" chat, but for discussion of possible changes to the article. There may be better places for a lengthy discussion about this topic - however, I guess being able to find all those alien civilizations yourself, now that you can travel faster than light, means that first contact becomes somewhat necessary. ;) -- Cid Highwind 15:51, January 10, 2010 (UTC)

Einstein vs. FTL Edit

Einstein only stated that accelerating up to the speed of light is impossible in his theory. His theory allowed particles to ALWAYS travel faster than light. And these "tachyons" are a prime staple in Star Trek. And just like no particle in Einstein's theory could travel up to the speed of light and then go beyond it, tachyons could never slow down to below the speed of light. Einstein NEVER said it was impossible to travel faster than light. FTL is NOT forbidden by Einstein's Relativity... 20:03, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

Are you made of tachyons? --OuroborosCobra talk 21:04, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki