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I've been watching the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise, and on more than one occasion, the crew protects themselves by "polarizing the shields" or changing their polarity. The question that comes to my mind is how does one accomplish this? Also, how does the crew know that the energy weapons that are being fired upon them are of a specific polarity? Changing the polarity seems to work every time, and I was just wondering how that is accomplished on a scientific level.

closed as off-topic by Valorum, WOPR, ApproachingDarknessFish, Organic Marble, TheLethalCarrot Nov 22 '18 at 0:04

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  • If enemy weapons are attracted to them, then the shields are incorrectly polarised and need reversing – Valorum Nov 21 '18 at 23:36
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    Unfortunately, there's no scientific basis for this and such questions are generally off-topic here. Since they're fictional technology, the change is also accomplished by using fictional technology. To put it another way, they change the polarity by pressing the "change polarity" button – Valorum Nov 21 '18 at 23:37
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    It might be worth pointing out that the NX-01 lacks "shields" as used by later Enterprises. What's polarized is the (presumably magnetic) hull plating. Whether that makes more or less sense is up to the viewer. – Cadence Nov 22 '18 at 0:46
  • I meant to ask if the technology used to polarize the hull plating has been properly named/when it was discovered. If I wasn't clear in that, then I apologize. – Donatello Swansino Nov 22 '18 at 1:52