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It's been established that the unstable wormhole created during the activation of a stargate will vaporize anything in its path. If so, how does the ramp in the SGC gate room, which goes right through the ring, survive?

gate room

On a related note, how on earth does the iris close with this thing? Does the rear part retract?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

As you can see from the image below, the unstable wormhole vortex (known colloquially as the "kawoosh") comes out from the centre of the puddle, then retracts back into the centre. The ramp is below the area affected.

The ramp isn't a single piece, it has a small split in the middle through which the wormhole (and iris) can extend.

enter image description here

It was a production oversight in the earliest episodes that the ramp went through the gate. In later episodes, you can see the split more clearly.

BEFORE enter image description here

AFTER enter image description here

You can also see in this original concept art, that even offworld (typically stone) gate platforms are built with a small gap to allow the vortex to form

enter image description here

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And yes, I'm aware that this hasn't always been the case. That's a simple production error;… – Valorum Sep 1 '14 at 11:38
Upvoted for the "kawoosh" (also because it's a good answer, but that's less fun). – Moogle Sep 1 '14 at 11:52
@moogle - I like that it's Carter, basically one of the only people in the world who actually understands the underlying physics, that comes up with such an unscientific name for it! – Valorum Sep 1 '14 at 11:57
@Richard That last comment would be valuable just sitting as part of the end of your answer, e.g.: "This hasn't always been the case. That's a simple production error." - as is it might get obscured via the various comment-hiding mechanisms. It's also pretty valuable in explaining the photo in the question! – doppelgreener Sep 1 '14 at 14:31
The ramp is still effectively burying the gate. This has always bothered me. It's also true of any off-world gate where the bottom section is entirely encompassed in the stone that makes up the ramp. – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 1 '14 at 19:38

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