I've seen lots of answers here about the episode "Force of Nature". The episode is about scientists discovering that travelling at speeds greater than warp 5 destroys subspace. It's been stated a few times here on this website that voyager's nacelles are made in a way that negates this effect, and that the rotation of the nacelles has something to do with it. Is this actually canon, and if so, how does rotating the nacelles upwards fix the problem? The Enterprises all had nacelles that were angled up from the hull.


In the article on the episode you mention (Force of Nature), it states (in "Continuity"):

According to the unpublished VOY Season 1 edition of the Star Trek: Voyager Technical Guide, by Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda, it was suggested that because of the variable geometry pylons, warp fields may no longer have a negative impact on habitable worlds as established in this episode.

The idea was that as the Voyager went into warp and the warp bubble was forming, the warp engines were shifted; and this single shift (at the formation of the warp bubble) altered the nature of the warp field so it would no longer damage subspace.

So it wasn't the final position of the nacelles that prevented damage to subspace as it was the movement during the formation of the warp field, which changed the nature of the bubble surrounding the ship.

  • Well that partly explains it, but it still doesn't say how moving the nacelles makes any difference – user912 Feb 25 '12 at 0:10
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    No, it doesn't. And I'll be surprised if you find an in depth explanation of it. That would require a true understanding of warp physics - to explain it, that is. The episode Force of Nature was problematic in many ways and it boxed them into a corner that they couldn't do much with it. Note, in the article on the episode, that the production staff was quite disappointed with the result. – Tango Feb 25 '12 at 0:12
  • Oh well, if only a real theoretical physicist would make a sci-fi TV show. (Now that I think about it, there probably is one) – user912 Feb 25 '12 at 0:15
  • @user912: The only issue there is that there have been cases where top scientists have written books or other works and they've been dull as dishwater. I can remember one book, in particular, I wanted to read because of the scientist's stature, and it's one of the few books that I have intentionally abandon in the middle because it was so dull. I like to see a top-notch writer who has good scientific advisors, so the writer can work on plot and character and his advisors can tell him what won't work and guide him to what will. – Tango Feb 25 '12 at 0:38

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