Watching Star Trek I've encountered several terms I'm not familiar with. For example, they use the term "neurtinos" a lot and "dilithum."?

Some of these sound obviously fake but then there are things like "synaptic transceiver" which sound like a real thing.

Is there a database of words like this?


1 Answer 1


Memory alpha is considered to be the "go-to" reference guide for Star Trek technical gobbledegook. Please note that while many of the words you hear on the show are real, there's also a fair amount of pure treknobabble scattered in there as well.

  • You can usually see the correct spellings if you locate a script guide or read the online transcripts for various episodes.

  • Offline, you may wish to consider investing a couple of pounds getting the "Star Trek Encyclopedia".

  • Since English may not be your primary language, you might also want to use the "voice search" facility on google. Saying the words out loud, Google can often work out what you mean, even if you yourself don't know the correct spellings.

For the record, a neutrino is described as :

Neutrinos are elementary particles which belong to the lepton family of particles. They have very small masses, and hence travel at close to the speed of light. Although they interact very rarely, a starship's sensor array contains instruments capable of detecting them.

and dilithium is described as :

Dilithium, also known as radan, was an [fictional] element, a member of the hypersonic series, mostly occurring as crystalline mineral. It was used to control the power of the warp drive systems of many starships by regulating the matter/antimatter reaction in a ship's warp core

  • This doesn't make clear that neutrinos do exist (you'll find a much more useful definition in Wikipedia) but dilithium doesn't, and couldn't - it can't be an element that occurs in nature, because all those elements are known, and there are no gaps in the periodic table for any more. There are a number of transuranic elements at the end of the periodic table, but these have all been synthesised, in extremely small quantities, and are highly unstable, with half-lives measured in microseconds.
    – PeterClose
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 13:16
  • @PeterClose - it is possible however that even higher elements may be much more stable, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_of_stability
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 14:15

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