Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,024
Michio Kaku: Why We Can't "Fire the Photon Torpedoes"

found this while trying to read up on the topic in another thread about the discovery of photon matter. Interesting talk.
Career Officer
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 906
# 2
09-28-2013, 03:50 AM
With all respect to Mr. Kaku, he got the concept behind photon torpedoes wrong. Photon torpedoes use a matter/antimatter reaction for their explosive effect, not photons. Which granted means photon torpedoes are poorly named, but still.

Porthos is not amused.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,032
# 3
09-28-2013, 04:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by collegepark2151 View Post
With all respect to Mr. Kaku, he got the concept behind photon torpedoes wrong. Photon torpedoes use a matter/antimatter reaction for their explosive effect, not photons. Which granted means photon torpedoes are poorly named, but still.
Exactly right...

I never figured out why they called it Photon-torpedoes in the first place... The only thing I can imagine is that the weapons somehow create photons en-route, but its always been a matter-antimatter reaction, only not like the controlled one in a warp core.
My name may say "PWE member", but I will never be.
-NEVER Forget the Screwups and ignorance made towards the people who supported the game through 2011
Don't look silly, don't call it "Zen-Store" - Don't waste devs time, Post proper bug-reports
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 992
# 4
09-28-2013, 04:16 AM
I thought the Photon in Photon Torpedoes referred to the light of them we see when they are fired, not what they are using for the explosion/propelling.
*******************************************

A Romulan Strike Team, Missing Farmers and an ancient base on a Klingon Border world. But what connects them? Find out in my First Foundary mission: 'The Jeroan Farmer Escapade'
Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,158
# 5
09-28-2013, 04:51 AM
Well, he's right, if "photon torpedoes" weren't, in fact, just horribly misnamed items. He obviously doesn't know a whole lot about Trek lore, but who can blame him for that?

If photon torpedoes were actually photon torpedoes, we'd do more damage using futon torpedoes.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,574
# 6
09-28-2013, 04:52 AM
Read this i found it on memory alpha

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Photon_torpedo
http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k161/wraith_011/Youracistbastard.jpg
Career Officer
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 906
# 7
09-28-2013, 11:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by doffingcomrade View Post
If photon torpedoes were actually photon torpedoes, we'd do more damage using futon torpedoes.
I'd pony up some zen for that! Mr. Worf, fire the La-Z-Boys!

Porthos is not amused.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,791
# 8
09-28-2013, 12:01 PM
It sounds like in TOS, they didn't really state how the Photon Torpedo worked and TNG revealed that the Photon Torpedoes were based on a matter/antimatter reaction. So the people that were responsible for TOS could have thought that the Photon Torpedo was an energy torpedo like the plasma torpedo and not a physical torpedo. So it is possible that Michio Kaku is not operating under the TNG definition, but the undefined TOS version where it looks like an energy torpedo.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,537
# 9
09-28-2013, 02:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by anazonda View Post
Exactly right...

I never figured out why they called it Photon-torpedoes in the first place... The only thing I can imagine is that the weapons somehow create photons en-route, but its always been a matter-antimatter reaction, only not like the controlled one in a warp core.
Brand name from the manufacturer. Tomahawk missiles have a disappointing lack of flint axes in their payload.
Ensign
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 26
# 10
09-28-2013, 03:07 PM
Mr. Kaku should look it up online or be given a copy of each the two Pocket Books technical manuals for the Enterprise D and DS9 as a Christmas/Birthday gift which explains among other things in Trek canon exactly what they are. I sure he would find much to chuckle over as a physicist.

Of course in TOS they hadn't properly thought out what this was all supposed to be until later but apparently photons are also one of the products of actual particle and anti particle annihilation as explained here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatter

So we could say a photon torpedo is so called because in a matter/antimatter reaction/explosion photons are also created as part of that reaction/explosion. So the name "Photon Torpedo" has some relation to the actual physical processes involved with a real matter/antimatter reaction.

Just as the successor "quantum torpedo" is supposed to actually borrow from the concept of zero point energy release which is part of the theory behind quantum mechanics. So the name is apt.

There are also other theoretical physicists such as Lawrence Krauss who have acted as technical consultants on Star Trek from the making of TNG.

Last edited by praetorniral; 09-28-2013 at 03:14 PM.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:19 PM.