Is Star Trek Technology A Possibility In The Future?

Tech & Science

startrekenterprise-notbreaking-indypostedWith the speed at which technology is currently developed and released to the general public, many believe that Star Trek technology is a prime possibility in the near future. The adventures of the Starship Enterprise have been a household discussion since the mid-60s. The story began in 1966 with the television series, which has created five spinoff shows and 12 films.

Treknology

The latest film, “Star Trek into Darkness,” was recently released in May and raked in more than $178 million. The film featured familiar phrases and futuristic technology, including phaser guns and, of course, beaming up. However, there is a continued debate over whether some of the Treknology is actually feasible in the future. The biggest arguments include:

1.Warp speed

2.Dematerialization and rematerialization

3.Phasers

Warp Speed

Physicists are just beginning to understand the potential for warp speed. Currently, physics principles state that nothing in the universe can move faster than the speed of light as long as it remains within the dimensions we know. However, warp speed cheats this concept. In Star Trek, the idea is that an object would be surrounded by a bubble, keeping it in sub-warp space. The ship would move that bubble through space-time, allowing it to move faster than the speed of light. Physicists are unsure as to how this would work at the moment, but this is certainly a possibility for the future.

Dematerialization and Rematerialization

Known as “beaming up,” this concept is a stretch. There is even a sub-debate as to the physics behind this idea. There are two schools of thought as to how it would work. One would require taking the human being, destroying him or her, and transporting the information so the person is rebuilt. The other would require the ability to translate organisms into pure energy, and then sending that energy to another point via a signal.

3D printers are about as close as modern society has come to this concept. However, capturing a person and their thoughts and transporting them through space to rematerialize in another area will likely never occur.

Phasers

On the other hand, using lasers as weapons is an extreme possibility that is almost available. Treknology takes this idea one step further, allowing the phaser user to set the gun to ‘stun’ or ‘destroy.’ The physics behind this idea are not yet understood. However, energy-beam and laser-based weapons are currently used to shoot down satellites. The phaser creates a hot setting that burns through the target. This destroys machines and can be extremely painful for human beings.

Treknologies Being Used Today

Despite their science-fiction origins, there are several treknologies which are currently in use. These include:

1.Transparent aluminum

2.Communicators

3.Torpedo Coffins

4.Tricorders

Transparent Aluminum

In the fourth Star Trek movie, the crew returns to modern-day Earth. In this film, Scotty introduces transparent aluminum. Surprisingly, aluminum oxynitride (ALON) is actually available and used as armor. It is a ceramic material that begins as a powder prior to heating and pressurization, which transforms it into a crystalline form. This material is strong enough to withstand bullets.

Communicators

Whenever Captain Kirk was in danger, he would whip out his communicator and request Scotty to beam him up. Advance 30 years and the majority of the population carry a communicator. These are known as cell phones. The version in Star Trek was a push-to-talk, similar to the technology released by Nextel in the late 1990s. The Star Trek version had a flip antenna that activated the device when opened, similar to flip phones.

Torpedo Coffins

In the second Star Trek movie, Mr. Spock dies saving the Starship Enterprise from peril. The movie ended with Spock’s body being shot out of a torpedo bay in a coffin into space. This is a soon-to-be option for the deceased.

Tricorders

When first surveying a new planet, Spock would carry a tricorder that measured every aspect of the new environment, including oxygen levels and diseases. Currently, NASA utilizes a device known as LOCAD, which measures unwanted microorganisms on the International Space Station. These devices may eventually assist doctors with examining blood flow to check for disease and infection.

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