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.
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
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
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.
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
The speed of starships was calculated as Warp Factor.
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.
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.
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
A revised chart of the warp drive system speeds can be
found on page 372 in "The Star Trek Encyclopedia" (Pocket
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