Welcome to the Science of Star Trek, a podcast series inspired by my review of Star Trek, the Original Series in the summer podcast special series Trekking Through Compliance.In this series I am joined by Astrophysicist and  Healthcare Futurist Ben Locwin. In this podcast we consider the TOS episode The Naked Time as a starting point for the consideration of the science around the warp drive.

A landing party from the Enterprise beams aboard Psi 2000, an ancient planet about to break up. They find all six of the crew manning the station dead. Crewman Joey unwisely removes his gloves is contaminated by a red liquid. As Psi 2000 shows a shift in magnetic field and mass, the Enterprise begins a close orbit requiring constant vigilance. Unfortunately, an infected Lt. O’Reilly has turned off the warp engines. To restart the warp engines, matter and antimatter must be mixed in a controlled implosion. However, after mixing matter and antimatter at a colder than recommended temperature according to an untested intermix formula, the Enterprise is thrown into a time warp which causes the chronometer to run backwards. This allows the Enterprise to escape the breakup of the planet, returning it 71 hours into the past and therefore before any of the episode’s events took place.

Highlights include:

  1. Why must you suspend your disbelief for this episode?
  2. How would a warp drive work in practice?
  3. Why does E=MC²control this issue?
  4. What is antimatter?
  5. What is the time wise effect on high speed travel?