Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When Voyager is taken into fluidic space against its will in Scorpion Part II, why didn't the intense density of matter instantly crush the ship?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

There could be numerous reasons Voyager wasn't immediately crushed when it was translated into the Fluidic Space dimension. The primary problem is we are assuming Fluidic Space behaves like water does on our world in our Universe. One of the only things we can be certain of was Warp Drive would not function there and ship speeds were limited due to the density of the Fluid.

  • There are many assumptions being made about Fluidic Space in your question. Star Trek: Voyager made no effort to inform us as to the true nature of Fluidic Space, neither its composition, nor chemical makeup. We don't actually know what comprises the fluid which fills the dimension of Species 8472. We have no idea of its density, chemical properties or its molecular composition.

  • Fluidic Space does not appear to be exhibiting depth pressure as water does on Earth. The deeper you go into the oceans on Earth, the greater the pressure per square inch. For example at 10,000 feet below sea level, the pressure per square inch is 4,458 pounds.

  • We are also not privy to the physics of the dimension, so we don't know if all life was formed, created, or lives in Fluidic Space, exclusively or whether the creatures there have analogs such as planets, or for that matter whether there is even an analog for gravity in their universe.

  • We also don't know if Fluidic Space is under pressure, like an ocean might be, so it may be filled with fluid but no denser than water at sea level. There is also no reason to consider it's density couldn't also be less than water.

  • Since Species 8472's ships did not immediately explode when coming into our vacuum of space, they are either incredibly tough and did not experience any pressure differential or the difference between our two universes could be less than expected.

  • Voyager's inertial dampeners/structural integrity fields should allow it to, while draining some degree of the ship's power supply maintain the structure of the ship if the overall density of the fluidic space is constant and not applying significant crushing against the hull.

  • It is safe to assume there are similar physical forces such as gravity, since their technology, while alien, seemed quite functional and effective in our Universe. This implies Species 8472 must be familiar with the properties and cosmological constants of our Universe if they are different than their own.

  • Curious bonus question: If the nature of Fluidic Space were of a significantly higher pressure, why didn't any of the fluid, immediately vent into our universe? Yes, it would have vaporized immediately, but we would have seen an indication due to the volume of fluid.

share|improve this answer
3  
Depth pressure is a function of gravity, due to all the water pulling/pushing downward on whatever is below it. So it does make sense that if space itself were fluidic and the fluid was flowing freely without external forces working on it and unless there were a gravity source pulling all the fluid in a particular direction, such as with Earth's oceans, it will not exert much in the way of pressure. It would still have density, making travel through it more difficult. –  BBlake Sep 10 '12 at 12:46
    
@BBlake The physics of this universe would have to differ substantially to our own universe. While it is true that a universally evenly distributed field of fluid would not exert pressure, any disturbance would destabilize it. For the field to be stable, gravity must not exist or must be a great deal weaker, which is possible. Voyager creates artificial gravity. The real question is where the light in fluidic space comes from. No gravity means no stars. –  DampeS8N Sep 10 '12 at 16:12
    
@DampeS8N It may be worth noting that Voyager's artificial gravity is not extended to the outer hull. That is, unless you're referring to the natural gravitational force that is inherent to all matter. –  Iszi Sep 10 '12 at 16:16
    
@DampeS8N - Yea, the illumination of the fluid caused me to wonder as well. Although, there are fluids on Earth that are naturally self-illuminated, so I guess that could be the same. –  BBlake Sep 10 '12 at 16:29
1  
Don't forget that "fluid" doesn't necessarily mean "liquid". A fluid is any substance that holds the shape of its container, including liquids, gases, and plasmas. –  Supuhstar Apr 21 '13 at 1:10

I suspect that we may never know the "real in universe" answer since I'm not sure there is one (the out of universe answer is pretty obvious), however I've been thinking about this and here are my thoughts.

Water pressure on earth is due to gravity pulling the water down. In our universe if you had a large area of space filled with fluid, it's gravity would eventually cause the liquid to collapse in on itself into a sphere. This is sort of how planets formed in our universe - clouds of dust in space slowly collapse down into dense spheres we call planets.

Since this doesn't happen, my conclusion is that either gravity works differently in fluidic space, or the fluid has no mass. Either of those would also explain the lack of high pressure on Voyager's hull. This also explains why Voyager seemed to indicate no planets, stars, or other objects in space. Planets and stars are formed by the gravitational attraction of matter in space. If for some reason that matter never coalesced into clusters, then no planets or stars would form. (How life would evolve in this type of universe I have no idea).

In fluidic space, the fluid seems to act like the vacuum in our space and somehow has no gravitational attraction either to itself or to anything else.

share|improve this answer
1  
If the fluid fills the entire universe, then there is no region of significantly greater density for it to collapse upon. There is a uniform gravitational force pulling toward any and every part of the universe, but these all cancel one another, so in the end there is no net force. –  Jason Patterson Oct 28 at 22:20

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.