Substances and Particles Index
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In order to explain away otherwise inexplicable phenomena (or just due to a lack of better scientific education) Star Trek writers have frequently introduced us to substances or particles which do not exist in the real world -- or are not yet discovered or invented. Only few of these substances or particles were used consistently. Many of them were mentioned only once, and the next time a different exotic particle was responsible for a very similar effect. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort to list all these substances or particles, to attempt a classification and summarize their properties. This list is strictly based on canon facts and therefore the description of most items leaves more questions than it can answer.
The classification used in the following is not always clear-cut. But usually we can notice the difference between particles (which have some physical effect) and compounds (which have chemical or medical effects or are used to build something). Also, something ending on -ium is obviously supposed to be an element, whereas -(i)on usually stands for elementary particles. De Broglie's particle-wave equivalence may save us from deciding between particles and energy. Finally, the list includes some real-world items too, which are noted as such -- although some particles in Star Trek behave very differently from their real-world cousins.
|Chemical element or isotope||Elementary particle|
|Chemical compound or alloy||Energy field or radiation|
|Real-world reference||Other concept|
This document was compiled by Bernd Schneider for Ex Astris Scientia. It is reproduced here with his kind permission.