Tachyon Tech Primer

Acceleration, Density, Collapse

The fundamental law that dictates the behavior of tachyon particles is Komatsu's Law of Tachyon Synthesis. Late 19th century German-American scientist Albert Einstein predicted that as matter approaches the speed of light, its mass inscreases. This was confirmed by early particle accelerator technology in the late 20th century. Komatsu's Law takes that a step futher. As matter increases in mass due to its increase in velocity, its volume does not. This causes an increase in density that eventually causes a critical mass of sorts to occur. When a particle collapses in on itself, the energy present remains. This drastic increase in the energy to volume ratio causes the particle to leap up to a higher energy level commonly referred to as a tachyon.

Space Tension and the Ripple Effect

In early 2050, Russian scientist Evgenii Nikolaev demonstrated that like water, space itself had tension on its "surface". When a tachyon particle is created, it drops a pebble in that surface creating a ripple in space. This ripple, or space wave, is what allows vessels to travel faster than light as theorized by Mexican theoretically physicist Miguel Alcubierre Moya in 1994. Unfortunately, due to Star Trek's massive popularity in decades past, the term warp speed and it's warp scale has stuck to faster than light travel. Luckily, a ship captain is more likely to jettison his helmsman out the cargo bay airlock than to tell him to "engage".

Riding the Wave

Traveling at faster than light speeds is conceptually similar to a surfer riding a wave on the ocean. In 1994, Miguel Alcubierre proposed a method for changing the geometry of space by creating a wave which would cause the fabric of space ahead of a spacecraft to contract, and the space behind it to expand. The ship would then ride this wave inside a region of flat space known as a warp bubble, and would not move within this bubble, but instead be carried along as the region itself moves due to the actions of the drive. The first attempt to ride the wave was declared unsuccessful after the first warp cosmonaut Arjun Desai didn't return. It was later discovered to prevent the ship and its crew from disintegration as they approach the speed of light you need to travel with the wave, not be pushed forward by it - much like how a surfer must paddle his way up to speed before catching the wave or else it will just roll over him. It is strongly debated whether every particle in your body instantaneously being separated from every other is excruciatingly painful or not.

Directional Tachyon Waves

If you were to drop a pebble into a calm body of water, you would notice that ripples shoot out in all directions until they eventually dissipate. With this analogy it is easy to see how riding the wave can be very destructive to nearby objects. The key to non-destructive FTL travel isy very similar to directional sound. Create a column of space waves pointed in the direction of travel and nothing around you is affected by the Nikolaev Waves.

Tachyon Pulse Engine

As it turns out, the surfer analogy is very close to what FTL really is. A small wave will push a surfer a little way, and a large wave a surfer could ride for quite a while. But the waves in all the videos, the 20 foot tall, breaking at the top variety of wave, well that could be disasterous for the surfer! It is for that reason that ships are fitted with smaller, less efficient tachyon pulse engines. They create many smaller waves instead of few larger waves to propel ships forward. Capital ships are fitted with large tachyon engines, and thus are powered more efficiently and have a higher warp factor.

Tachyon Regulation

The only problem is, this creates a concentrated "beam" with massive destructive potential. This beam is in fact what a tachyon cannon is, but pointed away from the ship instead of at the "tachyon sail". The tachyon itself does not affect matter, being a sub-atomic particle it flies at light speed between atoms and is very unlikely to actually collide with anything at all. Governments quickly decided that every Tom, Dick, and Harry zipping around the galaxy riding a tachyon cannon is a very bad idea. That is when the Tachyon Regulation Convention was passed by the Democratic Federation of Planets. Only highly regulated institutions were allowed to instruct tachyon theory to a select group of engineers and scientists (after passing a rigorous background check and screening process). It also began the Tachyon Defense Agency. Much like how the secret service would still protect former US Presidents, a current and former tachyon technician would have constant surveillance in order to protect them from malign influences. This helps to ensure that no uneducated and unauthorized person can easily convert conventional tachyon engines into tachyon cannons. Of course, the high illegality of tachyon cannons, and every military vessel being armed with one, also helps.

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