Star Trek Online Photon Torpedo Question
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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,388
# 1 Photon Torpedo Question
02-06-2013, 07:36 AM
I recall that a Photon Torpedo is supposed to be more powerful because of the amount of anti-matter is contains, but in numbers how much more powerful is it than a nuclear bomb

PS: I know there are many so anyone generating numbers, could you specify how many megatons of explosive the nuclear device had

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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 872
# 2
02-06-2013, 07:50 AM
From DITL, which says it gets this from the TNG Technical Manual,

The warhead of the photon torpedo comprises a maximum of 1.5 kilos of antimatter and 1.5 kilos of matter. These are divided into many thousands of small pellets suspended in a magnetic field - smaller yields can be achieved by reducing the number of such pellets in the torpedo

So, 3 kg of matter directly converted to energy.

E = mc^2 = (3)(300000000)^2= 2.7x10^17 J = 270 petajoules = 64.5 megatonnes of TNT

Which is equivalent to about 4000 Little Boys (the Hiroshima nuclear bomb), or 1.29 times the Tsar Bomb, the largest nuclear device ever detonated.
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Starfleet Veteran
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# 3
02-06-2013, 08:35 AM
Considering how much damage the Tsar Bomba caused, that means that everytime we fire a Photon Torpedo in game, we are probably within the damage causing blast radius of each torpedo fired and detonated.

Scary
Ensign
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 13
# 4
02-06-2013, 09:29 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by captwinters1701 Considering how much damage the Tsar Bomba caused, that means that everytime we fire a Photon Torpedo in game, we are probably within the damage causing blast radius of each torpedo fired and detonated. Scary
Radius of destruction doesn't increase linearly. I think it increases as the cube root of the increase in yield, but wouldn't put money on it. (Does square/cube law apply here?)

The Tsar Bomb's fireball was about 8km in diameter. So the fireball of a photon torpedo wouldn't be much larger than that, probably not more than 10km or so.

Oh, wait, we can't even fire weapons from more than 10km away!

Oh, dear.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,388
# 5
02-06-2013, 09:39 AM
Space = no fire ball (or not as big)

Do not forget some of the fire ball is hot anything.

Also in space , there is no shock wave because there is no matter for it to pass. Shock waves can happen if you sling out enough matter

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Starfleet Veteran
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# 6
02-06-2013, 09:53 AM
The 8 K for the Tsar Bomba was just the fireball, I would imagine that a photon torpedo which is apparently stronger would have at least a 9 K fireball, and with that much power I would imagine there would be some sort of shockwave in one way shape or form.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,983
# 7
02-06-2013, 10:39 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by captwinters1701 The 8 K for the Tsar Bomba was just the fireball, I would imagine that a photon torpedo which is apparently stronger would have at least a 9 K fireball, and with that much power I would imagine there would be some sort of shockwave in one way shape or form.
Only a very weak one. The shockwave from an airburst is made of heated air. In space it'd be primarily the debris from the torpedo and whatever radiation it gives off.
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Starfleet Veteran
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Posts: 1,504
# 8
02-06-2013, 10:50 AM
And then there's the fact that these explosions are in space, and not "confined" by atmospheric pressure. As the Starfish Prime explosion over the South Pacific showed in the 60's a large explosion like that will have direct effects much further from the source than if it was in an atmosphere.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 989
# 9
02-06-2013, 01:44 PM
Wikipedia shows a "total destruction" radius of 35km for the Tsar Bomba.

In any case, Memory Alpha has this to day:
Quote:
 By the mid 23rd century, advances in hull materials technology led to nuclear weapons losing their tactical significance in ship-to-ship combat. Romulan Birds-of-Prey employed them solely as self-destruct devices, and such a warhead detonated point blank in front of a starship without shields raised, caused relatively light casualties as well as temporary electrical disruption. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

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