The latest official Star Trek Magazine (#34) is on newsstands now. This theme of the latest issue is Star Trek science and today we have an excerpt on an article about "Treknology" by Dr. Chris Dows. Check that out below plus both covers for STM #34.
STAR TREK MAGAZINE ISSUE 34 EXCERPT – TREKNOLOGY
The latest issue of Star Trek Magazine features a very special edition of our regular Treknology column, in which Dr. Chris Dows assesses just how close we have already come to some of the technology seen in Star Trek 350 years before the Enterprise-D set sail. The tour begins in the Ready Room…
Having got a nod of permission from Captain Picard, let’s stroll into his ready room and start our tour. We’ll resist the temptation of ordering ‘Tea. Earl Grey. Hot,’ because while there are machines in production that can replicate engineering parts automatically out of high-density plastics and alloys, restructuring atoms for a hot drink works along the same lines as a transporter – so we’ll just put the kettle on instead. Some things look immediately familiar; there’s a desktop monitor roughly the same size and shape as the millions of TFT and LED screens available around the world, hooked into an optical network allowing fast and secure data transfer between servers and host machines. It has more than a passing resemblance to the Internet both conceptually and mechanically, so it looks as though we’re on a Trek-becomes-reality roll.
Before we leave Livingston to get on with his swimming, let’s briefly consider what keeps the captain’s lionfish, and indeed everything else, from floating aimlessly around the room. It is possible to simulate the effects of gravity through the rotation of a spacecraft in flight thanks to Newton’s Third Law and the effect of centripetal force, but the radius of the ship’s hull would have to be very wide combined with a relatively slow rate of spin to get around the detrimental effects on the bodies of the crew as they moved towards or away from the center of rotation. The idea of using magnetic fields similar to the artificial gravity plating underfoot has been investigated by the space exploration community; unfortunately, current technology would generate fields so intense they’d eventually kill anyone exposed to them. However, like so much ‘impossible’ Treknology, it only takes the development of a key material to increase the chance of its existence. As an example, let’s take a look through Captain Picard’s viewing window – glass as strong as steel was crucial to saving the whales in Star Trek IV and Scotty’s deft molecular restructuring formed one of the biggest laughs in the film, but palladium-based metallic glass is now a reality and currently being tested by Berkely Labs and CalTech in the U.S. Pretty good strike rate so far.
"Treknology" article in STM #34
More in the Star Trek Magazine 34
You can read the above article in full and more in Star Trek Magazine #34, on sale now. Here are the newsstand and comic book store exclusive cover.
Comic book shop exclusive cover
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