Warp and Subspace Mini-FAQ

(updated December 20, 1993)
......................................................................
Glossary:
FTL
- Faster Than Light (usually communication or travel)
STL
- Slower Than Light
M/AMR
- Matter/Antimatter Reactor (also called Warp Core)
IPS
- Impulse Power System
c
- Speed of Light ( ~= 3 * 10^8 m/s )
......................................................................
Part I: Gettin' Nowhere Fast
"Warp speed is <insert formula here>!"
Many things have shown up in that spot. Here's the lowdown on
figuring out how fast warp travel is.
v = velocity
W = Warp factor
TOS:
TAS:
TFS:
TNG:
DS9:

v
v
v
v
v
v

=
=
=
=
=
=

c = speed of light in vacuum
^ = "to the power of"

(W ^ 3) * c
"TOS scale"
(W ^ 3) * c
(W ^ 3) * c
[I, II, III, V, VI]
(W^(10/3)+(10-W)^(-11/3)) * c [IV]
(W^(10/3)+(10-W)^(-11/3)) * c "TNG scale"
(W^(10/3)+(10-W)^(-11/3)) * c

Note that the "TNG scale" formula is only approximate. The "real"
equation is a complex array of variables derived from the very
structure of spacetime itself, on the subspace level. (Actually,
it's on Michael Okuda's Macintosh computer in an Excel
spreadsheet, but close enough).
Here's an ASCII version of a graph from the TNG Tech Manual:

10^4

1000

100

10

Warp speed/power graph
|
:|
|
: |
|
+ : |
|
::: '
-|
+
:
|
=|
+
:
:
|
=|
+
:
:::::
,/
-|
+
:
: ::
__*-'
-|
:
:
:::: __*--' |
=|
+
:
::
__*--' |
|
=|
:
::
__*--': |
|
|
-|
+
:
__*--': |::: |
|
|
-|
:
_*--': |::
|
|
|
|
=|
: _-':| : |
|
|
|
|
=|
+
_*' : |::
|
|
|
|
|
-|
: _-':|
: |
|
|
|
|
|
-|
*'
:| : |
|
|
|
|
|

.:=
:::=
:::=
:::=
:::=
:::=

10^10
10^9
10^8
10^7
10^6
10^5

=|
+
,'|
: |::
|
|
|
|
|
|
:=|
: ,' :|
: |
|
|
|
|
|
|
:- 10^4
-|
:/
:| : |
|
|
|
|
|
|
:=
1 -|
:*
: |::
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
:=|
:/|
: |
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
:- 10^3
=|
::/ | : |
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
:=
-|:_:-' |::
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
:0 -| ,-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----. :- 10^2
------' |
1|
2|
3|
4|
5|
6|
7|
8|
9|
| `::::::::
|
Warp Factor
|
`--- Velocity in
Power usage in ---'
multiples of c
Megajoules/cochrane
__.---'
:::::::

Velocity * Integral Warp Values
Power
+ Power Thresholds

The above formula was calculated by someone out there, based on
the graph. It holds most accurately for 1 < W < 9.3. Below Warp 1
it is inaccurate, and above Warp 9.3 it's only speculation, but
follows the curve as stated in the Tech Manual.