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Star Trek: The Next Generation - Phase Shift?
In one episode, Geordi and Ensign Ro are 'phase-shifted' so that they cannot interact with physical objects or be seen/heard by the crew. Much screen time is devoted to showing that they fall through chairs and their hands pass right through computer consoles when they try to use them. They walk through walls, and at one point Geordi throws a similarly phase-shifted Romulan spy through the outer hull of the Enterprise and into space. come they don't fall through the floors during the episode?
Special Requirements:
The appropriate ST:TNG episode (whose title escapes me...)
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Anonymous on 06-09-2000
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Shawn writes:
The artificial gravity grid is inside the floor of each deck, so matter above the floor is pulled downward. Anyone phased to pass through solid matter would slip about halfway down the floor as if wading in a pool. Even if it were possible to stand above the floor, walking would be nearly impossible because their feet wouldn't be able to produce friction against the carpeting. It MAY be possible to see and hear from within a phase-cloaking field, provided that energy would still have contact on some quantum level (which would also explain why the phaser fire left such a strong residual energy signature detectable to sensors). Breathing, however, would not be possible. The air molecules would have no trouble passing into the lungs or any other body part (not carried by blood, but by just floating in), but it would not be able to react chemically with the body's systems. And while I'm on the subject, diving behind the bar for safety would not have protected them from an exploding phaser. The blast would just pass through the bar.
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nutbutter writes:
It would sort of defeat the episode's purpose if as soon as they are shifted, they fall right out the bottom of the ship. Episode script reads: "Aieeeeeeeee!!! (Explosive decompression sounds here)"
12 of 14 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Steve Crow writes:
The episode is called "The Next Phase." Actually, you can kinda/maybe assume that there is air in their alternate phase, and the same gravity that keeps regular folks from floating around in the "normal" phase bleeds over and keeps them from going through floors and stuff. By the same token, if they were literally, totally out of phase they'd be blind and deaf because sound and light waves woudln't cross over either. definite glitch is near the end. Watch when they dive to avoid the exploding phaser. As they dive past some balloons, the balloons are shifted by the breeze from their passing.
4 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Firestar007 writes:
Actually, the fiery explosions COULD happen because of the escaping air from the exploding ship. What COULDN'T happen is the nice sound effects, since there is no intervening air to carry the sound.
3 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Bill writes:
I buy that there'd be air in the "alternate phase". I even buy that gravity would work in both phases. I don't buy that the floors would work in both phases. Gravity on the Enterprise is artificially generated and pulls objects (including people) towards the floor of the deck that they're standing on. If part of the deck were missing, anyone who walked into the hole in the deck would be pulled by gravity down to the next deck (and probably break a leg in the process...) Since Geordi and Roe's molecules had been converted into an alternate phase, they couldn't interact with walls or computer panels - they passed right through. The molecules of the floor shouldn't have been any different than the molecules of the walls - the phased characters should have passed right through the floors as well.
1 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
nomaden writes:
Well, I might have an explanation for the not falling through the floor. Artificial gravity is generated with a gravity grid all over the ship. Artificial gravity might have an influence even throughout normal space. That's why the half-in-hyperspace (subspace) Laforge and Ro were not drifting away.
1 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Sisko09 writes:
According to the January 2002 issue of Star Trek: The Magazine, Commander La Forge and Ensign Ro discovered that by applying pressure they could pass through solid objects as a result of the reaction between the Romulan interphase cloak generator and the Enterprise transporters. They obviously remained in partial phase with our reality, as they did not fall through the floor of the Enterprise's decks. La Forge theorized that their cloaked state was the result of exposure to chroniton particles which were generated as a by-product of the Romulan's cloaking experiment. These subatomic particles transmitted temporal quanta and altered La Forge's and Ro's molecular structures.
3 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
GFiendish writes:
Re:Phase Shifting This nit has recently been picked in the Stargate SG-1 Episode "Wormhole X-Treme", Where the actress playing "Major Carter" asks this question to the "alien" creative consultant & a "thinly disguised" Peter De Luise. Their reply, "We'll get back to you ?" Yours, Grimley
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Dylan Rush writes:
Also: * They shouldn't be able to breathe. * The ship is moving, so they should have been left behind.
2 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
tomhowand8 writes:
Ummm... I love the show, so don't get me wrong, but... sometimes you have to suspend a little reasoning in order to have drama. All these explanations are interesting, but let's just enjoy the show. For example, what about explosions in space? I'm no physicist (and before anyone else says it - obviously!), but don't you need an atmosphere for all those fiery blow ups you see in battle scenes? But, of course, without them, the scenes would not be as exciting. And that goes for any sci fi, not just star trek. and if i'm wrong, please do tell (I'm sure someone will). Qhat would happen if something blew up in space? It's been a while, but there are some interesting "flubs" mentioned in a book - something like "the science of star trek."
4 of 8 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
digi-girl writes:
The clothes thing is easy. Went Geordi and Ensign Ro were phase shifted, everything they had with them shifted, too. That is how the Romulan had a phaser. :)
1 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Shane Wild writes:
In effect Geordi and Ensign Ro become "ghosts" and as such they fall into the same "slipup" of not falling through the floor etc as is in every "ghost" type movie I have ever seen.
2 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
terran1701 writes:
I do know a little something about physics and I know that an explosion like some of you are talking about is created when an object "blows up." And I also know that some form of air is required and that would let most people to believe that this cannot happen in space, but space is filled with gases. So the explosions in Star Trek are possible.
1 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
V_Magius writes:
Maybe there is a phased floor they are using. I was going to say phase ship they are moving in, but then, they wouldn't be able to walk through walls.
1 of 9 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
@ssKicker writes:
What about their clothes? Were they phased out too?
1 of 12 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes

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