I was watching the SG-1 earlier and realized something. When a Stargate is locked there is a surge (for lack of a better word) in front of the gate. Carter says it is unstable wormhole etc. Also says that whatever stands in front of it at that moment is gone.

However several times I noticed that they establish the wormhole while the Iris is closed. It seems to me that the Iris should be vaporized. Is there any explanation why it doesn't?


1 Answer 1


The Iris is so close to the gate, that nothing can form from it at all, at least, not bigger than an atom. Carter explained one episode that it requires a minimum distance to form the Kawoosh, and that the Iris effectively stops it from occurring. See reddit's question about the matter.

This is fully explained in the episode "100 Days", BTW. The gist is that Carter uses a particle beam to create a crack big enough to get the Kawoosh to work. The Kawoosh then made a much bigger cavern, allowing Teal'c to digg to the surface.

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    Although subatomic particles DO form. I forgot the name, but in the episode where they're under siege, a beam from the other side was able to heat the iris. Apr 13, 2011 at 19:17
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    @Teknophilla: That is true, and is also explained in 100 days. It really is the best episode to explain the Iris/Kawoosh phenomena. Apr 13, 2011 at 19:18
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    As I understand it, individual atoms can emerge, but quickly decay or bounce back into the event horizon when the iris is closed. There isn't enough room for whole objects to form.
    – MBraedley
    Apr 15, 2011 at 1:47
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    @Teknophilla You're thinking of Serpent's Song from the 2nd season. Sokar uses a particle accelerator to first display his avatar and a message, and then heats up the iris.
    – Ryan
    May 24, 2011 at 14:19
  • What is interesting though is the fact that the iris blades are overlapping at the center. Which is of course necessary if you want the aperture to be reliably closed without a hole. But it also means that the blades have to bend very slightly forward (equal to the blade's thickness over its entire length). Which means that the gap between the iris and the event horizon is at least in the micrometer, if not millimeter range. In any case it's not "sub-atomar".
    – Damon
    Mar 19, 2014 at 19:38

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