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Matter-antimatter reaction assembly

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Dilithiumcrystals

Part of the dilithium articulation frame from a M/ARA

MARA access tube

Access crawlway to the M/ARA of a Constitution-class starship

A matter/antimatter reaction assembly (often known simply as an M/ARA) was a type of energy reactor which was fueled by injectors of matter and antimatter into a central reaction element, creating large amounts of energy when those two materials mutually annihilate each other. Matter and antimatter were injected into the M/ARA at an intermix ratio. (TNG: "Coming of Age") The dilithium crystal is used to moderate this reaction. These types of powerplants were a commonly used as warp cores.

The dilithium articulation frame was housed inside the M/ARA, (TNG: "Skin of Evil") behind the dilithium chamber hatch. (TNG: "The Drumhead")

The prototype Jem'Hadar battleship had a fatal design flaw; the braces holding together the ship's M/ARA were vulnerable to a specific type of radiation. The crew of the USS Valiant believed they could use this flaw to their advantage when they were plotting the ship's destruction in 2374. (DS9: "Valiant")

On Federation starships, this type of reactor is often used as a warp core, powering the warp drive. The most common version of this system was fueled by slush or liquified deuterium, and its antimatter counterpart, anti-deuterium. These elements were funneled through magnetic constrictors and combined within a dilithium crystal to create a stream of highly energized electro-plasma which is routed to the warp coils within the vessel's nacelles, creating a warp field. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual)

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