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How fast is Warp speed?


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Report this Mar. 05 2004, 5:15 am

yeah but in T.O.S it was just for entertainment but for T.N.G had to make sence... people had a long time to work it out :cool:


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POSTS: 1941

Report this Mar. 05 2004, 3:03 pm

Yes, I've had 40 years to think about it, realizing that as they still call the "speed of light" their benchmark of Warp Factor One they all have it completely wrong.

Here's what I did in my own fiction to fix Star Trek's problem:

The "Tunnel Ratio Speed" Engines are the devices which simply turn on to move the ship to Superoptic (faster than light) speeds. A few things apply.

First, the crushing acceleration expected of such a "leap" is not as high as you may expect - in many regards the ship behaves as if it is traveling at 0.6c, and "leaps" are usually made into the "Superoptic Tunnel" from speeds near that incredible speed. But, there are crushing forces caused by the field itself, and much of the internal vehicle between the two projectors is designed to brace the ship from its own forces extending out both sides. At all times, the Inertial Stabilizers must be adequate to handle all changes in motion and speed, and to offset the crushing power of the engines themselves.

The Indicated Speed Matrix Chart:

GREEN LEVEL - Full Sensor Coverage
ISM One 876,600c (Indicated) 100 light years/hr
ISM Two 1,753,200c (Indicated) 200 light years/hr
ISM Three 2,629,800c (Indicated) 300 light years/hr
ISM Four 3,506,400c (Indicated) 400 light years/hr
ISM Five 4,383,000c (Indicated) 500 light years/hr
ISM Six 5,259,600c (Indicated) 600 light years/hr
ISM Seven 6,136,200c (Indicated) 700 light years/hr
ISM Eight 7,012,800c (Indicated) 800 light years/hr
ISM Nine 7,889,400c (Indicated) 900 light years/hr
ISM Ten 8,760,000c (Indicated) 1,000 light years/hr
ISM Eleven 9,642,600c (Indicated) 1,100 light years/hr
ISM Twelve 10,519,200c (Indicated) 1,200 light years/hr
ISM Thirteen 11,395,800c (Indicated) 1,300 light years/hr

There is a natural kinetic transfer from the Superoptic Universe coasting back down to ISM One when the TRS Engines go off, and then immediately after the ship exits the Superoptic Tunnel, the ship will be at 0.6c in the Suboptic Universe. The ship will always return to the Suboptic Universe at approximately 0.6c, no matter what speed the ship had attained prior to entering the Superoptic Tunnel, and no matter how fast the ship goes while in the Superoptic Tunnel. This is pertinent because of the fact that a destroyed ship will always be at 0.6c following destruction, and ships that are not destroyed will have to find some way to safely dissipate the energies to slow to a more sane speed. This is done via the Linear Spike Engines. 0.6c is considered the most dangerous speed one can achieve. While theoretically it is deemed possible to go faster, there is no practical reason to do so because of the amount of energy required to move the mass of the ship, including required fuel, to faster speeds. The "leap" from 0.6c to an apparent passage of the galaxy in the Superoptic Universe does not appear to take the ship to intervening speeds faster than 0.6c and below 876,000c. This gives many 27th century scientists reason to suspect that the ship never actually crosses over the speed of light - it is only operating against the relativity of surrounding space in a way that indicates that the ship does actually travel so quickly. By the year 3337, where all of this goes to the Television Pilot, it is all still an improvable philosophical question, as many suspect that what is really happening is that the Universe itself is somehow zooming towards the ship at speeds faster than light, while the ship remains at 0.6c. Given the interaction with Tachdrogen and the ability to see the Universe's "Natural Emanation of Matter," scientists are sure sure that something is actually moving faster than light - but it can not be proved whether that 'something' is the ship or the Universe.


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Report this Mar. 08 2004, 3:05 pm

But I thought warp 1  was the ability to go faster than the speed of light.


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Report this Mar. 20 2004, 2:13 am

Quote (SaladMan @ Feb. 24 2004, 8:32 pm)
According to this poster I have...

Warp 1 is one times the speed of light.
Warp 2 is ten times the speed of light.
Warp 5 is 214 times the speed of light.
Warp 8 is 1,000 times the speed of light.
Warp 9 is 1,516 times the speed of light.
Warp 9.6 is 1,909 times the speed of light.
Warp 9.9 is 3,053 times the speed of light.
Warp 9.99 is 7,912 times the speed of light.
Warp 9.9999 is 199,516 times the speed of light.
Warp 10 is infinite times the speed of light (and cannot be reached).

the star trek encyclopeia second addition supports these exact figures i believe


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POSTS: 1941

Report this Mar. 20 2004, 2:18 am

Quote (Noopy @ Mar. 08 2004, 7:05 am)
But I thought warp 1 was the ability to go faster than the speed of light.

Yep. That's why, in all gentleness, I submit to you that the Star Trek scales are about as full of B.S. as the idea that the Earth is flat.


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Report this Mar. 20 2004, 2:07 pm

It's hard to describe Warp factors as a measure of speed. What warp drives actually do is shrink the space in front of the ship, and expand the space behind, so while from the perspective of the ship you have only travelled 100 kilometers, when the space re-expands, you're a lightyear away. The Warp Factor is merely how much space is distorted.

Also, it's best to try to not think of it, as quite often, the script writers don't think of the exact speed, and just pick a number and an arrival time. For instance, in ST:Voy's The Scorpion Part 1, Janeway plots a course to intercept some borg cubes 5.2 lightyears away at warp 2. If you maintain the Warp 2 = 10c, as is most accepted, then the trip took 181 days.


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Report this Mar. 20 2004, 4:34 pm

if you wanna see the real warp chart, go to and click on "Warp Speed Charts"
bottom line: SaladMan is right


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Report this Mar. 20 2004, 11:47 pm

As several of the authors have pointed out, the warp scale has and will continue to change through out the years. At first it was a graduated scale based on c and the warp factor was the exponantal value, in TNG it became a geometric notation where the warp remains the exponant, but because of the equation, the value of the results were much higher. So warp 13 in tos is the same as warp 6 in TNG. Just think of the warp scale as being a really mean hyperbolic curve. For the geometric formula please look it up at google. It is too complex a formula to post in this forum.
And be careful of non parimount sites for fan oriented information, they are mostly wrong.  Though I too am a fan, some people have a tendancy to alter their information to suit their needs.

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