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The Geometry Of SubspaceEdit

The relationship between Warp, subspace and "Normal Space" is always the most difficult concept to grasp when discussing stellar physics. Subspace is simple the 'substrate' on which our universe exists. The "subspace barrier" is the albeit flimsy dividing line between the two continuums and a 'Subspace Field' is either a natural or artificial intrusion of subspace into Normal Space.

Each point in subspace coincides with and equal point in Normal Space while the universe exist as a series of spheres, one nested inside the other. Each layer of subspace is smaller as you approach the center. When traveling through subspace, as in Warp, you don't actually move faster, but simply make the distance smaller. It can be said, in error mind you, that you bend or warp Normal Space to make it smaller.

The closer we sink towards the central point, the shorter the distance traveled. Subspace is like a pressurized fluid contained within a balloon of normal space. Causing a rupture in the skin allows subspace to come gushing out, explaining the importance of the Warp 5 speed limit. If subspace were to leak out, eventually normal space would collapse just like a balloon with the air let out.

A ship accelerates at faster than light by establishing a powerful, asymmetric subspace field around the ship by the warp nacelles. This warp field wraps around the ship in a two-lobed bubble, with the focus at Main engineering (by design). The shape of the ship determines the efficiency of the field, and this explains why the starships have such a sleek design. Meanwhile, the subspace field reduces the inertial mass of the ship, aiding in maneuvering.

In fact, a small subspace field is kept around the ship at impulse speeds, so the Impulse drives have less mass to push around. However, this is only a side effect and is not the mechanism used to allow faster-than-light travel.

The subspace field forces the ship to take on the reference frame of subspace itself, which is a special reference frame, circumventing the limits of Special Relativity. So if an artificial subspace field can mimic true subspace and allow faster-than-light travel by warping Normal Space and relative distances, what keeps a ship from accelerating into infinitely. Simply a subspace field must be sustained with energy. Without constant energy the field decays and the vessel slips back into Normal Space. -- 66.2.146.107 01:19, 28 Aug 2004 (CEST)


A very interesting theory indeed. I am not sure how much of it could be proven scientifically at this point. Much of it also seemed to be non canon speculation, but it certainly held my interest. You should work to flush this out some and send it to L.M. Krauss (writer of The Physics of Star Trek). Being a physicist and Trek fan myself I did much enjoy his first work and hope that he one day releases a follow up! --MAX 17:01, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I have always envisioned subspace as space where the "speed of light" constant was different. The so called "subspace domain" then would contain infinite layers of "space" in which the speed of light was different in each one. In the case of warp, you would want to move into layers where c was significantly higher. However, I could imagine a few applications where one might even want c to be lower. I have found that a lot in Star Trek can be explained by making the (vacuum) speed of light, permittivity, and permeability constants variable in some equations.--209.46.24.97 17:32, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Perfecto's Law of Subspace Arguments Edit

As a Star Trek discussion grows longer, the probability of an argument involving subspace fast approaches 1. --Perfecto 23:02, 2 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Related topicsEdit

  • I like the related topics here, but it is getting too long, we need to find a clean way to break it up. Jaf 19:11, 17 Sep 2005 (UTC)Jaf

Subspace in the real universeEdit

Ok I know subspace does not exist in the real universe, but their are scientific theories with similar ideas.

  • Braneworlds - Imagine another universe only 1 cm away, but separated by extra dimensions
  • The quantum world deals with many parallel universes all interfering with each other. 88.105.14.175 15:27, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
That's nice, but what does that have to do with the article? Unless there is a Trek connection, such information should not be in the article.--31dot 19:22, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
also, both of these real-world theories have been incorporated into the trek universe. Transdimensional realms are mentioned in several episodes. Quantum realities were seen in "Parallels" --Pseudohuman 19:37, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

How is it that you know that subspace does not exist in the real universe? To prove that something DOES NOT exist is extraordinarily difficult. You first need to know exactly what it is that you are looking for and where it is supposed to be. Since we do not really know what subspace is in the Star Trek universe it would be very difficult to prove that it does not in fact exist in our universe. It may just be as yet undiscovered. This would also tend to explain why we have not as yet developed faster than light propulsion and much of the other cool tech from Trek! --MAX 16:53, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

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