Plasma torpedo

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During a briefing following the initial attacks on Neutral Zone outposts, Spock described what was known about the Romulan weapon.  According to [[Starfleet]] researchers, the weapon was an "enveloping plasma" that caused its targets to implode.  One plasma torpedo was sufficient to destroy the shields and weapons of a Federation outpost, and a second torpedo shattered the asteroid on which the outpost was built.  One torpedo also damaged the fully-shielded ''[[Enterprise]]'', even though much of the torpedo's energy had dissipated due to range.  The weapon's power is certainly impressive: the destruction of a nickel-iron asteroid of at least two miles diameter would take hundreds of megatons of energy,<ref>Estimated using the [http://stardestroyer.net/Resources/Calculators/AsteroidDestruction.html SDN Asteroid Destruction Calculator] for a 3200m diameter nickel-iron asteroid.</ref> which would certainly be an achievable energy yield for a space-faring civilization.<ref>Trekkies often inflate this estimate to '''gigatons''', for no substantial reason.</ref>
 
During a briefing following the initial attacks on Neutral Zone outposts, Spock described what was known about the Romulan weapon.  According to [[Starfleet]] researchers, the weapon was an "enveloping plasma" that caused its targets to implode.  One plasma torpedo was sufficient to destroy the shields and weapons of a Federation outpost, and a second torpedo shattered the asteroid on which the outpost was built.  One torpedo also damaged the fully-shielded ''[[Enterprise]]'', even though much of the torpedo's energy had dissipated due to range.  The weapon's power is certainly impressive: the destruction of a nickel-iron asteroid of at least two miles diameter would take hundreds of megatons of energy,<ref>Estimated using the [http://stardestroyer.net/Resources/Calculators/AsteroidDestruction.html SDN Asteroid Destruction Calculator] for a 3200m diameter nickel-iron asteroid.</ref> which would certainly be an achievable energy yield for a space-faring civilization.<ref>Trekkies often inflate this estimate to '''gigatons''', for no substantial reason.</ref>
  
Even though it is capable of overtaking a [[Constitution-class|''Constitution''-class]] starship in full retreat, a plasma torpedo has a relatively limited range.  Only [[cloaking device|cloaking]] technology enabled the Romulan ship to get into effective range of its targets.  As noted above, a plasma torpedo lost so much energy pursuing the fleeing ''Enterprise'' that when it finally struck, it no longer had enough energy to destroy the target.
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Even though it is capable of overtaking a [[Constitution-class|''Constitution''-class]] starship in full retreat, a plasma torpedo has a relatively limited range.  Only [[cloaking device|cloaking]] technology enabled the [[Romulan Bird of Prey|Romulan ship]] to get into effective range of its targets.  As noted above, a plasma torpedo lost so much energy pursuing the fleeing ''Enterprise'' that when it finally struck, it no longer had enough energy to destroy the target.
  
 
[[Lieutenant]] [[Hikaru Sulu|Sulu]] believed that a single [[phaser]] shot would be sufficient to detonate a plasma torpedo prematurely.  He did not actually get to test his idea, however, since his ship's phasers were off line at the time.
 
[[Lieutenant]] [[Hikaru Sulu|Sulu]] believed that a single [[phaser]] shot would be sufficient to detonate a plasma torpedo prematurely.  He did not actually get to test his idea, however, since his ship's phasers were off line at the time.

Revision as of 18:40, 29 August 2009

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