|T I M E . W I L L . T E L L : t e c h n o l o g y|
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We're trying to be believable - so our technology should be as close to scientific facts as possible.
If you don't know enough about science to describe backgrounds of a device you invented, don't try making up a background - just describe what it does (and if you have any, mention your ideas of its workings, just don't invent some background that contradicts science). Someone else can take care of it.
WARNING: Some of the science "facts" in here (specifically about tachyons) are taken from "bild der wissenschaft", a German science magazine that has been wrong about some things occasionally. Correct me if they're wrong or obsolete.
1. The Engines
1.1. We can't go faster than light... How are those engines supposed to work?
We aren't going faster than light - we're just taking a different route. The engines are used to open a kind of artificial wormhole, allowing the ship to get somewhere else in space taking a shorter way than the straight one.
This also eliminates the relativity effects noticed when travelling near light speed.
The existence of wormholes is assumed by today's science - it is limited to microscopic and naturally ocurring phenomena, but there's no proof against bigger or artifical ones.
According to inflation theory, it might be possible to use fields with high energy density to generate something wormhole-like.
1.2. How fast is translight speed?
The scale is exponential.
Translight x is 2x times the speed of light.
1.3. Why can the engine ring be separated from the rest of the ship?
The engines require a lot of power - and even this far in the future, we can't exclude the possibility of something going wrong.
The possibility to eject the engines is for safety purposes.
Teleporters work by transforming normal matter into tachyons and back.
Today's science knows very little about tachyons, all we know is that tachyons move faster than light, and can bypass normal matter.
For the teleporters, we are assuming that tachyons are just a different state of normal matter - so anything consisting of matter can be temporarily transformed into tachyons. The tachyons generated that way get an impulse to go in the right direction for the right time before they're turned back into normal matter.
Note that everything that is teleported actually stays in its form, the matter just assumes a different state. Therefore, teleporters can *NOT* be used to create matter out of nothing, or to copy objects or even people.
3. Power supply
The ship's primary power supply comes from matter/antimatter reactions. Matter and antimatter are kept in different tanks, kept apart by force fields.<(p>
Matter and antimatter tanks are located in the engine ring, which can, in emergencies, be separated from the ship for safety purposes.
To prevent the entire ship from being annihilated in a large matter/antimatter reaction when something happens to the power supply for the force field, the ship gets a secondary power supply from solar cells located all over the hull.
The power supplied from the solar cells is not enough to go to translight speed, but it's sufficient to keep the forcefields, live support, and limited artificial gravity operational.
4. Relativistic time
Relativistic time is the time scale used across the Galactic Alliance. It is designed to allow easy compensation for relativistic time dilation for ships that travel at fast sublight speeds.
The starting point of relativistic time is the day the Galactic Alliance was founded, February 18 2077.
An approximate formula for calculating relativistic time isfloor((year-2077)*10000+(day of year/365.24))+(hour*3600+minute*60+second)/86400 (Note that the year starts February 18 though).
You can specify relativistic time with whatever accuracy you like - usually, one or two digits after the "." are used.
The ships computers are very similar to today's computers - just more advanced. They are much faster than today's computers, and they are partially using different interfaces (voice I/O), but that doesn't change the fact that they are computers. They can't think.
The computers are running an operating system developed throughout the entire Galactic Alliance. It is available in source form to everyone - everyone can adapt it to suit his needs best. There is no company controlling where its development leads.