Talk:Photon torpedo

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"Pulleys"? There was a solid arm lowering the torpedo and the conveyor took over from there. Also, the torpedo bay in TWOK looked vastly different from the one in TUC; perhaps it was a deliberately primitive system to give the trainees hands-on experience? --Bounty 05:42, 16 November 2007 (EST)

  • Primitive is fine if it does the job. A glass container could do the job rather than a forcefield. A conveyor belt is a pulley, one of the simple machines along with wheel, axle, wedge, screw. If the article is not enough of a NPOV or if the wording isn't quite right, feel free to change it. The idea wasn't to "diss" older starships for using a mechanical solution more than point out its inherent flaws. I think a mechanical solution is a lot better than a site-to-site transport or storing torpedoes live, for example. If you have a better idea for why the torpedo bay takes up a huge amount of space I'd like to hear it. I've always thought there was a lot of physical machinery in the older starships --User:brianeyci

Stargazer: The claim regarding the Mutara Nebula was that shields would be useless, not that they wouldn't exist, so I'm not sure if the argument you're making is valid. It's quite likely that shields are a standard feature of photon torpedoes, given their need to transition through the launching ship's shields, so they would be active on the torpedoes fired by the Enterprise and Reliant in the Mutara Nebula, even though they weren't really doing anything useful. --Ted C 13:46, 11 April 2012 (EDT)

  • Khan orders Joachim to raise the shields after they enter the nebula, and he responds "As I feared, sir. Not functional." You can't even raise the them, so no, they would not exist. The point is that the glow remained while shields should not be present, so the glow is not indicative of shields. Stargazer 13:22, 12 April 2012 (EDT)

Mike's edits

It should be noted that the analysis assumes that the asteroid in "The Pegasus" would merely be fragmented with little to no melting or vaporization, and uses the smallest possible dimension for the asteroid. The calculations also assume that the E-D carries 275 photon torpedoes when it is canonically stated in "Conundrum" to carry a loadout of 250 photon torpedoes. But if by "destroyed", Commander Riker meant the total mass of the asteroid would be mostly vaporized, and the asteroid were made of granite, then the per torpedo yield would 113 gigatons, assuming all 250 torpedoes were expended in the effort. Melting most of the mass would would give 2.24 gigatons per torpedo. [1]

  • That would be assuming a great deal more destruction than seems necessary in this instance. There is no indication that vaporization is intended or required to achieve the goal. Assuming so is just an attempt to inflate the torpedo yield with no solid evidence. --Ted C 10:58, 2 May 2014 (EDT)
  • Also, changing the calculation from 275 torpedoes to 250 torpedoes only changes the resulting yield calculation from around 455 kt to about 500 kt. --Ted C 09:59, 20 June 2014 (EDT)

Contrary to Warsie claims, asteroid vaporization by photon torpedoes has been clearly observed in the canon. [2] [3]

Whether it has occurred in other cases is not really relevant. Riker's recommendation certainly does not require vaporization. --Ted C 10:58, 2 May 2014 (EDT)
Also in both cases the asteroid in question is much smaller then the minor planetoid in this episode. Remember the Phoenix asteroid was large enough for the Enterprise-D to fly around inside of it. This was no small asteroid, it was massive and using so many torpedoes to completely fragment it enough to destroy the Phoenix in the center does make sense. Keep in mind that because of the size of the asteroid claiming that the E-D could possibly destroy it is still rather impressive. --Isolder74 15:38, 2 May 2014 (EDT)

However, the TNG Technical Manual is also inconsistent with itself regarding torpedo yields. At least two other entries on page 141 gives wildly differing torpedo estimates based on the primary and secondary destruct mechanisms. Approximately 2.39 gigatons and 5 kilotons respectively. It is uncertain whether these yields would come before or after the 74% efficiency is applied.

While this seems valid, I'm not sure it adds a great deal to the discussion. Tech manual figures are pretty widely agreed to be unreliable. Nonetheless, I have no particular issue with putting this observation back in the main article. --Ted C 10:58, 2 May 2014 (EDT)


  2. Star Trek:The Motion Picture
  3. TNG "Booby Trap"