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Weapons & Gadgets

Star Trek Gadgets & Weapons - Set in the 23rd century, the sci-fi series STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69 and its spin-off series created a unique mythology of alien races and pseudo-scientific technology and weaponry which helped carry out their weekly plots.

Kirk Fires Phaser

When the crew had to fight off aliens they used phasers which emitted an energy beam similar to a laser. It came in four models: a small clip on uniform type, a hand held pistol, rifle style and the larger ship mounted Phaser controlled from the main bridge of the starship through a series of huge Phaser banks.

The pulsating nature of the Phaser let the gun fire steadily, or intermittently. The energy from the Phaser could dematerialize an object, heat an object, stun a victim, or could be set on overload to make an implosion time bomb. The Phaser energy is focused through dilithium crystals.

Phaser Rifle Fight

Close-up Phaser Rifle

Kirk with Phaser Rifle Phaser Handgun

Klingon Sonic Disrupter

Phaser Rifles Kirk & Phaser Rifle Phaser & Klingon

Klingons were armed with Sonic Disruptor Pistols. Other weaponry included the photon torpedoes which were anti-matter suspended in a magnetic field.

The primary means of moving crew and cargo to/from the planet surfaces was the Transporter machine. It was a matter/energy scrambler that broke down objects into energy and then reassembled the molecular structure of an object or person at point of destination.

Transporter Chamber - STAR TREK
Transporter Chamber

During transport cycle, objects appeared as a cloud of sparkling dust. The transporter had a range of 16,000 miles. Overriding the safety buffers, the transporter could be used as a deadly weapon transporting persons at will and disintegrating them.

The speed of starships was calculated as Warp Factor. Scientist Zefram Cochrane (Glenn Corbett) discovered the space warp in A.D. 2016. It enabled starships to travel faster-than-light through outer space. The warp drive systems achieved their tremendous speeds by the controlled annihilation of matter and antimatter.

Warp  Drive - Star Trek

The warp drive continued to be used in the subsequent theatrical movie spin-offs and the TV sequel series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION; STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE; and STAR TREK: VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE..

TRIVIA NOTE: The Phaser ray gun for the series was invented by the Westheimer Company, a special effects studio.

According to original series' projections (found in "The Making of Star Trek" Ballantine Books, 1968) warp factor levels and accompanying speeds included Warp Factor 1 = Speed of Light; Warp Factor 3 = 24 times the speed of light; Warp Factor 6 = 216 times the speed of light; Warp Factor 8 = 512 times the speed of light. Warp Factor 6 was the safest cruising speed of the Enterprise.

A revised chart of the warp drive system speeds can be found on page 372 in "The Star Trek Encyclopedia" (Pocket Books, 1994).


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