Star Trek Canon Database

Displaying 1 to 11 of 11 records.

Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2014-10-02

Page 1

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

PICARD VO: Captain's Log, Stardate 46041.1. We have located the U.S.S. Yosemite, a Starfleet science vessel sent to the Igo Sector to observe a remote plamsa streamer. The ship has not been heard from in several days.

...

DATA: Our scanners cannot penetrate the plasma streamer's distortion field.

Sensors: they can't scan anything near a "plasma streamer", probably due to the presence of energetic charged particles.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

PICARD: Can we tractor the vessel out?

DATA: No, sir -- the ionic interference is too heavy.

Misc: the charged particles (ions) in the plasma streamer keep them from using the tractor beam in its vicinity.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

GEORDI: We can beam them over there, Captain -- but with all this interference, we might not get a positive lock to bring them back.

BARCLAY: Commander... what if we bridged our transporter system with theirs? It might be enough to cut through the ionic field.

Transporters: it's easier to launch the transporter signal out into space than it is to reconstitute it into an object, so they must bridge the two transporter systems. This way, the source system sends and the target system does the work of reconstitution.

This may explain why they usually receive visitors on their own transporter pads, when one might think that a visitor can appear anywhere on the ship. The bridging of two systems is safer and less vulnerable to environmental conditions.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

BARCLAY: Ever since I was a child, I've been scared to death that if I ever dematerialized... I wouldn't come back whole again. I know it sounds crazy.

TROI: There's nothing crazy about it, Reg -- you are being taken apart molecule by molecule. You're not the first person to have anxiety about transporting. We can desensitize you to this type of fear. It's a slow and gradual process... but it works.

Culture: they treat fear of transportation as an irrational phobia despite the obvious philosophical issues, so instead of taking these concerns seriously, they use psychological conditioning techniques to "desensitize" people.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

BARCLAY: I mean -- have you ever seen anything?

GEORDI: Where?

BARCLAY: In the... during transport.

GEORDI: Sometimes my visor picks up resonance patterns from the matter-energy conversion. It's actually kind of pretty.

Transporters: Geordi claims that the visor picks up patterns from the matter-energy conversion process, but he obviously hasn't given this much thought. No technological device (or biological optic nerve) can function when it's been partially or wholly converted to energy! It is impossible for Geordi's visor to function normally during the matter-energy process.

So what's he seeing in there? Well, there is obviously a period during the process where a life form is shimmering out of view but still has physical cohesion, as shown in ST2, ST4, and some TNG episodes such as "The Hunted". In ST2, Saavik was audibly speaking before the transportation process was complete, and in ST4, Kirk's marine biologist lady friend grabbed him after the transportation process had already begun. In "The Hunted", Roga Danar was actually able to break the beam by jumping out of it, after it had started.

Therefore, Geordi must be seeing something during that period, after the shimmering effect has begun but before matter/energy conversion. This implies that there is some extra stage between the shimmering effect and the matter/energy conversion effect, where the person still has physical substance. This makes sense; the process of matter/energy conversion can't take more than an infinitesimal split-second or the person would die (imagine if only half of your heart has formed and it's still trying to pump blood), but the shimmering effect takes many seconds. Therefore, the shimmering effect can't be the matter/energy conversion process.

It seems likely that the shimmering effect is one of those Star Trek subspace "phasing" phenomena, whereby the person is temporarily placed into a state which will somehow facilitate the near-instantaneous matter/energy conversion process prior to transmission. This stage would not be the pattern buffers, because Scotty stored himself in a pattern buffer and perceived no flow of time for 75 years, while this state allows perfectly normal perception of time. It must therefore be something else.

Ted Collins suggested that the "shimmering" phase might be some sort of scanning process, which causes interesting visual effects but does not physically affect the subject at all. This would be consistent with "The Hunted", in which Roga Danar escaped the transporter beam without any ill effects even though the "shimmering" phase was well underway by the time he jumped out. If true, it would help explain why attackers beam people in when enemy shields fall, rather than beaming enemy soldiers out; once soldiers have been trained to react to the onset of the transporter effect, they might be able to learn tactics for disrupting the lock by moving rapidly when it starts.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

BARCLAY: When I was returning to the Enterprise... I could've sworn I saw something... in the matter stream.

GEORDI: Something?

BARCLAY: There was phased matter all around. At first I thought it was some kind of energy discharge. But then it flew toward me, and touched my arm, but how could anything be in there? The molecules flying apart ... half-phased ...

Transporters: Barclay confirms my suspicion that there is a stage in the transportation process where matter is somehow "phased", before it is converted to energy.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

BARCLAY: I can still remember the day in Doctor Olafson's class on Transporter Theory when he talked about the body being converted into billions of kiloquads of data, zipping through subspace, and I realized, there's no margin for error. One atom out of place and poof! You never come back.

Transporters: Barclay describes some of the process; your body is converted into data, sent through subspace, and then reconstructed.

Interestingly enough, the Rutian terrorists from "The High Ground" were transporting through subspace and that was apparently considered highly dangerous, not to mention destructive to living tissue. Apparently, subspace is a hazardous place for people to go but it's OK for data, hence the need to send people through the transporter in some form other than matter.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

GEORDI: Transporting really is the safest way to travel, Reg.

Culture: Geordi thinks transporters are the safest way to travel, but that's probably just because he's comparing them to the Federation's Mighty Explodin' Starship Fleet. It's not as if transporter accidents are that rare in Star Trek ...

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

COMPUTER: Transporter Psychosis was diagnosed in the year 2209 by researchers on Delinia Two --

BARCLAY: No, no... stop. All I need is the ... what causes it?

COMPUTER: It is caused by a breakdown of neuro chemical molecules during transport, affecting the body's motor functions, autonomic systems, and the brain's higher reasoning centers.

Transporters: older transporters had a side effect known as Transporter Psychosis. Although that problem has supposedly been fixed, it strikes me as irksome that they refuse to even consider the possibility that present transporters might also have unforeseen side effects.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

GEORDI: If we held Barclay suspended in mid-transport... at the point where matter starts to lose molecular cohesion...

DATA: The molecules would begin to emit nucleonic particles. We might be able to derive a pattern the computer could recognize ...

Realism: Data says that the matter in Barclay's body will start emitting nucleonic particles if it's held at the right point in mid-transport, but nucleonic particles are neutrons and protons, and if your atoms are releasing neutrons and protons, they are undergoing a form of nuclear decay (or worse yet, fission). Not only is there no conceivable reason why this would happen, but the result would be that Barclay's body would be converted to unusual, possibly dangerous isotopes!

TNG Season 6, Ep# 128: "Realm of Fear"

GEORDI: If we held Barclay suspended in mid-transport... at the point where matter starts to lose molecular cohesion...

DATA: The molecules would begin to emit nucleonic particles. We might be able to derive a pattern the computer could recognize ...

Transporters: as I suspected all along, there is a point in the transporter process where matter has not yet lost "molecular cohesion".

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