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Density was a characteristic of an area of space which described the amount of mass or energy occupying it per unit volume. It was a fundamental measurement in physics, geology, biology and in astronomy. One measure was gram per cubic centimeter. (TNG: "Half a Life", "The Most Toys")

Uses Edit

Physics Edit

The transmission from Captain Mitchell on Terra Nova never reached Earth because the density of the atmosphere – filled with toxic debris – was too high. (ENT: "Terra Nova")

Using the density of a group of objects with its volume, one could determine a rough number of them. (VOY: "Elogium")

The density of an underwater vessel could be changed, by throwing out cargo, for example, in order to propel it toward the surface. (VOY: "Thirty Days")

The density of polaron grids could be large enough to block ships physically. (VOY: "Favorite Son")

Field density was a type of density related to gravity and also important for interdimensional rifts. (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror", "Requiem for Methuselah")

Unusual density patterns were called particle density anomalies. (VOY: "Fair Haven")

The density of a material changed the nature of a transmission, sometimes significantly. When a probe of unknown origin came to Earth in 2286 to contact humpback whales, its transmission was hard to decipher. Nyota Uhura was able to alter its transmission, using the ocean's density, to simulate its broadcast under water. This revealed it was a whale song. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Geology Edit

The molecular density of minerals could help distinguish the exact type. The crystalline state of an embryonic lifeform, for example, resembled promethean quartz except that it had a much larger density. (DS9: "Q-Less") Density measurements were also used to identify asteroids with a desired mineral. (ENT: "Impulse")

Many large asteroids, big enough for a ship to enter, were not always stable. Shifts in their magnetic field density occurred unpredictably and made it hazardous for a ship to maneuver inside. (TNG: "The Pegasus")

Biology Edit

The effects of radiation on living organisms could be quantified with density measurements. For example, on an away mission to fix a Malon export vessel, B'Elanna Torres monitored theta radiation density, since larger densities would be fatal. (VOY: "Juggernaut")

Measuring the synaptic density and neural mass of a species was a way to measure how intelligent they are. (TAS: "The Infinite Vulcan"; ENT: "Cogenitor") It could also compare brain capacity between its members. When the Enterprise NX-01 met the Vissians, Doctor Phlox noted the synaptic density and neural mass of the cogenitor on board was almost identical to the males and females, indicating they were not any less capable, as the group claimed. (ENT: "Cogenitor")

Density was an important measurement to understand Changeling physiology. Odo was under significant study in his early life, and Julian Bashir noted that Odo's density was similar whenever he was in humanoid form, and changed when he changed shape. When he suffered a poison from his people in 2372, Bashir first noted that Odo's density fluctuated rapidly. (DS9: "Broken Link")

The density of particles in space was important to space-dwelling lifeforms that fed on them. For lower-density areas of space, they developed a more porous outer covering and traveled quickly. (VOY: "Elogium")

The dead bodies of the Vhnori become part of the ambient electromagnetic field surrounding the class D planet they were transported on. As a result, a great deal of variation, pattern complexity, and quantum density occured. (VOY: "Emanations")

Technology Edit

Controlling the particle density in force field generation was one of the hurdles Starfleet encountered in the 22nd century when developing the technology. (ENT: "Vox Sola")

The density of a ship, when combined with its mass, could be used to determine likelihood of carrying cargo. (TNG: "Unification I")

The density of an orion scout ship could have been too large for the Enterprise's sensors to probe inside it. It could also have been cloaked. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

In the Particle Fountain Project, increasing the density of the Fountain's particle stream increased its lift capacity, but also risked overloading the field generators. As such, it had to be monitored carefully and research was underway in the 2360s to find ways to increase it responsibly. (TNG: "The Quality of Life")

Density was an important metric for computer chips. Henry Starling hired an outside company to design a chip for the HyperPro PC, but was not satisfied at its component density. (VOY: "Future's End")

Field density was a term used to characterize phase coils. (TNG: "Galaxy's Child")

The density of the moon of Bre'el IV was asymmetrical, requiring adjustments when the USS Enterprise-D tried to use a tractor beam to change its orbit. (TNG: "Deja Q")

Planets and planetoids Edit

Measuring planetary density was used for several purposes. The density of Earth Two was measured by the USS Enterprise as part of the criteria to observe that it was an exact copy of Earth. (TOS: "Miri") The density of 892-IV was also very similar to Earth. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

The density of a planet's underground could be measured to reveal structure. When investigating the surface of a planet, Chakotay remarked that the density patterns show artificial waterways and a global aqueduct system. (VOY: "Time and Again") The density of the surface of Phylos, however, was 600 times denser than lead, making it impenetrable to the Enterprise's sensors. (TAS: "The Infinite Vulcan")

The density of a planet varied significantly from the surface toward the planetary core. When digging, with phasers for example, it was important to understand the density variation as deeper layers are reached and adjust the beam strength accordingly. The Enterprise-D dug in such a manner into Atrea IV to carry out ferro-plasmic infusion, and Juliana Tainer adjusted the phaser's strength during digging. (TNG: "Inheritance")

The density of a planet's atmosphere was important when traveling through. When Jean-Luc Picard was abducted by the Children of Tama, Worf piloted a shuttle through the atmosphere of El-Adrel IV, noting the positron density as he did so. (TNG: "Darmok")

Density variations of volcanic ash varied wildly and were important to monitor when ionizing the dust with a ship's phasers. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")

Measuring particle density in a gas giant's thermosphere could help discern and track other vessels that passed through it. The Enterprise NX-01 used density measurements to discern that a Suliban ship was, in fact, several Suliban cell ships and determined their heading. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

The Waters was maintained by a very stable alien field reactor, however, over time, the inhabiting Moneans' oxygen refineries increased the ocean density. Eventually this increased pressure on the device, forcing it to transfer power to its own structural integrity field instead of the oceanic containment field. This inadvertent consequence would cause problems for the Moneans. (VOY: "Thirty Days") The Moneans built structures in The Waters with variable-density ballasts, an efficient design for the unique environment. (VOY: "Thirty Days")

Stellar phenomena Edit

The density of stars was important to monitor while undergoing changes. During an experiment in helium fusion enhancement by Doctor Timicin, density was monitored. (TNG: "Half a Life")

A negative density false vacuum was a phenomenon that occurred inside a star that was imploding due to spatial disruptions within the Q Continuum. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")

Interstellar phenomena Edit

Voids in space had zero density. (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos") However, often there was fluctuating radiogenic particle density readings which were normal. Tom Paris used these to hold a betting pool for the USS Voyager crew, calling it the Paris Radiogenic Sweepstakes. (VOY: "Meld") The density of the Galactic barrier was negative. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "By Any Other Name")

The density of an asteroid field was important to monitor when shuttles entered to navigate. One such field in the Delphic Expanse encountered radical changes in density due to spatial anomalies, making a mining mission hazardous. (ENT: "Impulse")

In 2374, the density of the micrometeoroid field encountered by USS Voyager was increasing and damaged the hull of the starship. (VOY: "Year of Hell, Part II")

The mass and density of incoming asteroids determined whether they would break up a planet's atmosphere or stay intact and hit its surface, devastating its environment. One asteroid was heading to Tessen III when the Enterprise-D determined it would strike its surface. The ship destroyed it with phasers and then a particle beam from its deflector dish. (TNG: "Cost of Living")

The density of stellar core fragments could be large enough to affect planetary tectonic activity as it passed by. One such fragment encountered by the Enterprise-D had a density of 100 billion kilograms per cubic centimeter, prompting the crew to warn the inhabitants of nearby Moab IV. (TNG: "The Masterpiece Society")

When Voyager entered a nebula-like phenomenon, the ambient density inside increased up to seventy percent. (VOY: "The Cloud")

In 2367, The Enterprise-D explored the Mar Oscura Nebula and measured dark matter density. (TNG: "In Theory")

The density of a dark matter nebula was thinner on the outer edge than inside the nebula. (VOY: "Cathexis") By finding areas of larger particle density within such a nebula, the dark matter could be excited using metreon particles. (ENT: "First Flight")

The nebula FGC 47 had a large network of plasma energy strands with irregular density patterns. With larger densities, the strands produced an increasingly resonant effect on a ship's shields, thereby applying a drag coefficient to the ship. (TNG: "Imaginary Friend")

Particle density could also help determine the structure of subspace ruptures. When one was detected near Deep Space 9, Jadzia Dax measured the density structure. (DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses")

While escaping Gul Evek in the Badlands, Tuvok noted that the plasma storm density increased. (VOY: "Caretaker")

The density of magnetic flux was observed to be large during electromagnetic storms. (TNG: "Power Play")

The density of energy fields was useful to quantify how much turbulence a ship would encounter. (TAS: "The Practical Joker")

See also Edit

External link Edit