Spatial Flexure



In Star Trek, a spatial rift is a connection between two locations in space-time. A temporal rift is a type of spatial rift that also connects two points in time. (VOY: "Future's End") A spatial flexure is a type of spatial rift, a tunnel through space that allows spacecraft to travel vast distances. After being transported to the Delta Quadrant in 2371, Captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager informed her crew that they will be on alert for wormholes, spatial rifts, or technologies that might aid their trip home. (VOY: "Caretaker")

According to Q, Junior, he "once learned how to open a spatial flexure using nothing more than a deflector array." With it he could manipulate where exactly he wished to go. In 2377, he opened one with the Delta Flyer II to the Clevari system, and later to the Zozek system before returning to USS Voyager. (VOY: "Q2")

When Voyager was duplicated by a divergence field in 2372, a spatial rift was formed on deck 15 connecting the two ships, which occupied the same physical space. (VOY: "Deadlock"). In 2377, Voyager encountered a spatial rift that emitted high levels of neutrinos and chronitons. It produced a chronokinetic surge that struck the ship, interacting with its warp core and splitting it into different time frames. (VOY: "Shattered").

The neutrinos and chronitions associated with these rifts do have their equivalent particles in astrophysics. Neutrinos are elementary particles that travel close to the speed of light, lack an electric charge, are able to pass through ordinary matter almost undisturbed and are thus extremely difficult to detect. Neutrinos have a minuscule, but nonzero mass. eutrinos are created as a result of certain types of radioactive decay or nuclear reactions such as those that take place in the Sun, in nuclear reactors, or when cosmic rays hit atoms. There are three types, or "flavors", of neutrinos: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos; each type also has an antimatter partner, called an antineutrino. Electron neutrinos or antineutrinos are generated whenever neutrons change into protons or vice versa, the two forms of beta decay. Interactions involving neutrinos are generally mediated by the weak force. Most neutrinos passing through the Earth emanate from the sun, and more than 50 trillion solar electron neutrinos pass through the human body every second.

In Star Trek, a chroniton is a type of particle which is an expression of time. Its effects are typically temporal in nature. While no such term as 'chroniton' exists in Astrophysics, there does exist a 'chronon', which is a proposed quantum of time. This is a discrete and indivisible "unit" of time as part of a theory that proposes that time is not continuous. While time is a continuous quantity in standard quantum mechanics, many physicists have suggested that a discrete model of time might work, especially when considering the combination of quantum mechanics with general relativity to produce a theory of quantum gravity.

In one such model, Caldirola's model, one chronon corresponds to about 6.97×10?24 seconds for an electron. Caldirola proposed that the chronon has important implications for quantum mechanics, in particular that it allows for a clear answer to the question of whether a free falling charged particle does or does not emit radiation. This model supposedly provides a natural explication of quantum decoherence.