2008-12-06

Respect The Technobabble or I'll Shoot Plasmon-Polariton Beams At You

Yeah, seriously.

Scientists have produced laserlike emissions of surface plasmon-polaritons . . . so it said in a tech blog I read.

I was stunned . . . stunned, I say! . . . to learn that we had done this, for I was quite certain that this meant that we had inverted the subspace polarization matrix of the tertiary electromechanical ectoplasm in the quantum flux capacitors of our gravimetric frangible drives, which (obviously!) could have catastrophic consequences.

Having had zero prior experience with quasi-particles, I started to try to read up on them.

I shall have to try again.

That said, I was carried from phonons and polaritons to eventually seeing the term "polaron" in use as a real word. Frankly, I'm not entirely certain I'd ever heard of it outside the context of Jem'Hadar "phased polaron beams".

From what I gathered in the few minutes before the headache really took hold, polarons are simply what we call the effect of an electron travelling through (at least some) materials. A very rough layman's analogy would be considering the effect of an 18-wheeler (big lorry) as it travels down the highway as a windaron.

In the case of an electron, the local effect on a material with numerous ions is one of numerous local attractions and repulsions on a small scale, radiating outward from the electron as it passes, with the to and fro based on electric charge instead of any other factor. This charge difference in the material is a large excited state that will dissipate as the electron passes and the excited state from this field of electromagnetic interactions is called a polaron.

Why they didn't just call it something simpler I don't know . . . the whole quasiparticle nomenclature strikes me as completely ridiculous. I like "electron interaction field", though I'm sure we could come up with something shorter.

In any case, I have no idea what a phased polaron would be, or how you would go about shooting polarons through empty space, given that they are basically just charge imbalances in a material caused by a charged particle's passage therethrough. But the "phased" part, in Treknobabble, is what generally suggests freaky properties like passing through matter and whatnot, so that remains the most likely source of the beam's shield-bypassing property.




2 comments:

  1. Oh, well. It seems that our technobabble has at least some coverage. I have yet to see any reasonable explanation of the EU-wankfest-derived "solar ionization" reactors. Quite an unusual name for fusion reactors.

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  2. "I like "electron interaction field", though I'm sure we could come up with something shorter."

    So just call it an EIF... ;)

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