The Particles of Star Trek

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Particle Man, Particle Man,
Doing the things a particle can.
What's he like? It's not important.
- They Might Be Giants, "Particle Man"

Twice a week, the Star Trek legacy beams its way into our homes and hearts, bringing with it a kaleidoscopic cacophony of particles, waves, fields, fissures, and anomalies. For too long these products of speculative physics have gone unrecorded. With the advent of Voyager, the flow of new particles has increased to a torrent, and I can no longer let them pass by uncatalogued.

But I can't do it without your help! At the bottom of this page, you'll find a Particle Generation Form. Tell it where you've spotted particles on Star Trek, and they'll be added to the catalog for the enjoyment of all.

"So tiny, you can't tell it's a deus ex machina!"

Last update: Mon Mar 16 08:01:11 PST 1998
Number of particles: 190

Naturally occuring. Causes duonetic fields, resulting in equipment failures.
Naturally occuring. In real life, a neurotransmitter produced by the brain.
acid dichloride
Artificially generated by crew. Gaseous chemical. Toxic to humans, essential to advanced humans. In real life, acid dichloride is impossible as chlorine and hydrogen combine in a 1:1 ratio, and chemicals tend to separate into the lowest possible number of atoms. Acid "di"chloride would be H2Cl2, and this would break down into HCl: hydrochloric acid or (when a gas) hydrogen chloride.
Naturally occuring. Radioactive compounds generally found in uranium ore. Actinides are known to interfere with Federation sensors.
amniotic fluid
Naturally occuring. In real life, protects embryos from disease while in the womb.
Artificially generated by crew. A general anesthetic. Fatal if present in the air.
Artificially generated by crew. Cancels out chroniton particles.
Artificially generated by aliens. Apperently can act as "antigravity." In real life, a graviton (which is still a theoretical particle whose existence hasn't been proven) is its own antiparticle. That is, an antigraviton would actually be a normal graviton.
antilepton interference
Artificially generated by aliens. Prevents communications.
Artificially generated by crew; naturally occuring in real life. Matter whose electrical charge properties are the opposite of "normal matter." It is not well understood why the universe is made overwhelmingly of matter yet most reactions which produce particles produce matter and anti-matter equally. The imbalance could have started as a minor percentage in the early moments of the big bang, with resulting annihilation keeping the excess only (the rest is the photon background).
Naturally occuring. In real life, a byproduct of beta decay.
A real particle; the antimatter version of a neutron.
Naturally occuring. Also generated by ships; can penetrate Romulan cloaking devices. In real life, the antimatter version of a proton.
Naturally occuring. Analagous to "antimatter" but for time, not matter.
Artificially generated by crew. Caused by the interaction between phased and normal matter. In real life, an anyon isn't a real particle, it's a theoretical construct formed by confining a normal fermion (and possibly boson) to a two-dimensional region. The exchange arguments which lead to the parity operator eigenvalues being +-1 no longer apply, and these theoretical constructs can have arbitrary quantum phase changes under exchange.
Origin unknown. Function unknown.
Naturally occuring. Stormy region of space, plays havoc with sensors and warp drives.
Naturally occuring. In real life, "heavy" particles like protons, as opposed to "light" particles (leptons) like electrons. In TNG, something else.
Berthold radiation
Artificially generated by aliens. Unknown -- generated by aliens
Berthold rays
Naturally occuring. Nature unknown. Harmful or fatal to humans.
Artificially generated by crew. A painkiller.
Naturally occuring. A rare crystalline element which can be an incredible source of energy if hooked up to an anti-matter converter.
biogenic field
Naturally occuring. Lethal to humans.
Naturally occuring. Nature unknown.
Artificially generated by crew. Used as a power generator or convertor in compact machines and devices.
Brill cheese
Origin unknown. Contaminated cheese with a virus.
Naturally occuring. chemical, possibly an element
carbon neutronium
Artificially generated by aliens.
Origin unknown. When mixed with infernite, becomes explosive.
cast rodinium
Naturally occuring. The hardest substance known to Federation science.
Origin unknown. A highly explosive compound, dangerous to transport, can be sold for a good profit on Orion.
Artificially generated by aliens and crew. Involved in time travel and in cloaking; exact nature unknown.
chronometric particle
Artificially generated by aliens. Involved in time travel.
cobalt dinitrate
Artificially generated by crew. A chemical compound that is considered a biogenic weapon. Cobalt dinitrate is harmless to most humanoids but is lethal to Cardassians.
Artificially generated by Captain Kirk. A fictional substance which supposedly reflects weapon fire back at the attacker.
Artificially generated by crew. A drug.
Naturally occuring. Rich deposits of this compound are found on the Kazon-Ogla Homeworld, which they use for barter with the other Kazon sects.
Artificially generated by crew. Used in thruster packs.
cosmic string
Naturally occuring. A string of particles with gravitational forces that are the strength of a black hole.
Artificially generated by aliens. An alien equivalent of steroids.
Naturally occuring. In real life, cyanoacrylate ester is a fast-bonding glue (e.g. Crazy Glue.)
Naturally occuring. Occurs in nebulae/gaseous anomalies in Delta and Alpha quadrants. Highly combustible.
dark matter
Naturally occuring. Causes phase shifts in normal matter.
De Broglie waves
Naturally occurring in real life -- in modern physics, a representation of ordinary matter as waves rather than particles. In Star Trek, artificially generated by aliens; a side effect of cloaking devices.
Artificially generated by crew. In real life, dechyons are the class of particles that travel below the speed of light (i.e., the opposite of tachyons.)
delta rays
Naturally occuring. Type of radiation produced by older engines; exists in real life. Delta-rays refer to moderate energy electrons which have been kicked off a nucleus by the passage of a nearby high energy charged particle.
dermateralean plasticine
Artificially generated by aliens. Used in cosmetic surgery.
Naturally occuring. Found as deposits in asteroid fields.
Naturally occuring. Isotope of hydrogen, having twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen, also called heavy hydrogen
Origin unknown. A metallic substance.
diburnium-osmium alloy
Artificially generated by aliens. A substance highly resistant to energy and radiation.
Naturally occuring. An element that makes up part of the molecular structure of a gaseous creature, possibly allowing the creature to exist in a state on the border between matter and energy and avoid weapons fire by moving itself through time.
Origin unknown. Optic material used to build lenses and mirrors.
Naturally occuring. Focuses energy into highly concentrated form. Necessary for the operation of warp drives, and a vital part of a starship's power system.
displacement wave
Artificially generated by aliens. Moves objects at high warp speed.
disruptor beam
Artificially generated by aliens. Klingon equivalant of a phasers. Accompanied by a shrill, echoing sound. (See Errand of Mercy, Elaan of Troyus.) The same beam is used by the Amenians in A Taste of Armaggedon (Perhaps the Klingons once conquered Ameniar during their history!)
Origin unknown. Used in power generators, reactors, and short-range transporters. If pure enough, it can be made into weapons.
Artificially generated by crew. A hard metal alloy.
E-band radiation
Naturally occuring. Emitted by collapsing stars; can also be used as a means of communication.
Eichner radiation
Artificially generated by aliens.
electrophoretic energy
In real life, electrophoresis is a process by which proteins are identified by putting them on a gel and running an electric current through the gel, then staining the gel and measuring how far the proteins moved in comparison to a group of standard proteins that were also put on the gel (bigger proteins move slower, in general.)
Naturally occuring. A substance produced from plants by the people of Brekka and exported to Ornara.
Naturally occuring. Refractory metal found in caves of Melona IV.
fluidic space
Naturally occuring. A parallel universe near our own composed entirely of a biological fluid.
Naturally occuring.
genesis wave
Artificially generated by crew. An energy wave that has the effect of rapidly terraforming planets and nebular matter.
gold-pressed latinum
Origin unknown. A non-replicatable material, typically pressed into bars, like gold.
Artificially generated by crew. Generated by Voyager. (A real particle according to modern physics.)
Artificially generated by crew. A simulation of matter using force field and holo-imaging technology within a chamber known as a "holodeck". Under certain circumstances, holomatter can take on all the recognized features of life forms; however, all holomatter disintegrates when removed from the holodeck.
Naturally occuring. Hyperons are a class of real particles whose name dates back to the days before quark structure was well known. Leptons (electrons, muons, tau and their associated neutrinos) are "light", Mesons are "medium", and baryons are heavy. When more massive short-lived particles heavier than the proton were produced, they were called hyperons. Some examples are the sigma lambda and cascade. After quark structure was understood, they first three names were kept, but the meaning was changed. Leptons are the same list as originally, but are understood to be fundamental particles with no quark structure. Mesons are quark-anitquark pairs. Baryons are triplets of quarks. The term hyperon is still used, but not so frequently.
Naturally occuring. Only known cure for tricyanate contamination of water supplies. Highly volatile.
ilium 629
Naturally occuring. A by-product of the geological decay of dilithium.
Origin unknown. When mixed with carbrodine, becomes explosive.
inversion nebula
Naturally occuring. A nebula composed of plasma strings that is apparently beautiful to look at. Nebulas of this kind do not exist in the Alpha quadrant. They are apparently relatively unstable, requiring an outside influence to stay stable.
Origin unknown. Unknown origin. Used in medical containment fields the previous century. No longer used. Causes adverse reactions with equipment. If brought to -200 Celsius, it becomes inert.
iogenic particles
Artificially generated by crew. Has characteristic 'magnetic flux density'
Naturally occuring. An atom or group of atoms that carries a positive or negative electric charge.
ionic pulse
Artificially generated by crew. Presumably, a bunch of charged atoms.
Naturally occuring. A heavy element of the platinum group.
Naturally occuring. A neurotransmitter in Trills which maintains the link between symbiont and host. If its level gets too low, the symbiont must be removed or it will die.
Naturally occuring. Like invidium, jakmanite cannot be detected by internal sensors. Exists in oxygen environment, and like invidium, can alter advanced structures like glass.
Naturally occuring. Valuable gemstone found on Cardassia.
Artificially generated by aliens. A sedative.
Naturally occuring. Resets positronic matrices.
Naturally occuring. Refractory metal found in caves of Melona IV.
ketracel white
Artificially generated by aliens. A vital, isogenic enzyme needed for the survival of the Jem'Hadar. The enzyme can only be provided by the Founders, and currently cannot be reproduced by the Federation. The Founders engineered the Jem'Hadar's addiction to this enzyme to ensure their loyalty to the Dominion.
kinoplasmic radiation
Origin unknown. Lt. Barclay tells the holodoc that his headaches are due to "kinoplasmic radiation oxidizing your brain cells."
Artificially generated by aliens. Induces telekinetic powers.
Origin unknown. Subspace element used in Klingon warp drives.
Kreeger waves
Artificially generated by aliens. Nature unknown. Eats holes in walls and decks; destroys space station.
Naturally occuring. - particle "activity" increased prior to the wormhole reappearing and shifting its position.
Origin unknown. Highly toxic; alters molecular structure when it comes in contact with glass. Exists in a Nitrogen-Oxygen atmosphere.
Artificially generated by crew. In real life, a quanta of the mangetic dipole moment of a particle. In short, it's a measurement (like inches or liters), not a particle, though the name is used for one in Star Trek.
Artificially generated by aliens. A metal alloy. Its melting point is 2014 degrees Fahrenheit.
Artificially generated by aliens. An explosive material used in out-of-date rockets which are no match for Federation weaponry.
Naturally occuring. - particle "activity" increased prior to the wormhole reappearing and shifting its position.
metaphasic shield
Artificially generated by crew. A subspace technology which involves generating metaphasic properties - results in a low intensity, non-propulsive subspace field similar to a warp field.
Artificially generated by aliens. High levels of exposure can infect a humanoid with nitremia, a blood disease that causes its victims' cells to undergo fission.
Naturally occuring. Short-lived subatomic particle classified as a lepton.
Artificially generated by crew. Berman and Okuda's _TNG_Technical_Manual_ identifies "nadion" particles as the output produced by phasers.
Artificially generated by crew. Micro-robots that are bred for specific tasks; able in some instances to reproduce to collectively form a consciousness.
Naturally occuring. A different form of dilithium.
neurogenic field
Naturally occuring. A resident 'field' that forms by a person's brain as part of the thought process. Each person's pattern varies depending on their current thought.
Artificially generated by crew. Real particle with no charge, until recently thought to have no mass.
neutron radiation
Naturally occuring. Neutrons are neutral particles which, along with protons, are constituents of atomic nuclei. Neutrons not contained within a nucleus have a half-life of about 15 minutes.
Naturally occuring. Matter composed of densely-packed neutrons, held together by gravity. The material neutron stars are made of.
Naturally occuring. A metal used in an important alloy commonly found in starships. The alloy is used for computers, replicators, stabilizers, ventilators, power transfer conduits, dilithium chamber walls, and life support systems.
Naturally occuring. Dust or other particles which attract water vapor, causing rain or other precipitation to form.
nucleonic particle
Artificially generated by crew. Could refer to the nucleus of atoms?
nucleonic radiation
Naturally occuring/artificially generated by crew. Something found in lifeforms.
Artificially generated by aliens. In the present, an unstable, artificially generated particle that can serve as a virtually inexhaustable power source. The only drawback is that it reacts violently with subspace, making warp travel in the affected area impossible. Thus, after failed federation experiments, it is ordered that it be destroyed by any starfleet ship that encounters it. Even at the expense of abandoning the prime directive. It is thought that they were once naturally occuring, and may have supplied the energy to initiate the Big Bang. It is also known by the Borg as "Particle 256" and is kind of worshipped by them as "perfection".
Naturally occuring. Created by Space Nebula Creature, used in "circulatory" system.
particle signature
Naturally occuring. A characteristic unique to each universe.
Naturally occuring. Used to regenerate enviromental controls filters.
phospholipid fibers
Naturally occuring. In real life, phospholipids are fatty acids with phosphate groups attached. They are small and naturally occur only as liposomes and bilayer sheets, and as monolayer spheres called micelles. But they never form "fibers." Phospholipid bilayers are what cell membranes are mostly made of.
Origin unknown.
photonic energy
Naturally occuring. Emitted from the surface of a protostar. A fancy name for light.
Naturally occuring. A very hot, ionized gas. The atoms in plasma have enough kinetic energy that the electrons are torn from their nuclei, ionizing the gas.
polaric ion
Artificially generated by aliens. Used as a power generation system.
Artificially generated by crew. Exists in the real world. In condensed matter physics, a polaron is a type of mobile crystal defect consisting of an electron coupled to an induced lattice polarization.
Naturally occuring. Real antimatter version of an electron.
preanimate matter
Naturally occuring. Matter that is very, very, very, close to being classified as a form of life, but doesn't quite make the grade.
Promethean quartz
Naturally occuring. Valuable mineral that glows with an internal light.
Origin unknown. An unstable form of matter used by David Marcus as a short cut in the construction of the Genesis Device.
Naturally occuring. Baryon with a virtually infinite life span. Protons occur in all atomic nuclei.
Naturally occuring. Makes up the interior of cells in living matter.
Naturally occuring. A neurotransmitter involved in telepathy.
pulse compression wave
Artificially generated by crew. Used to increase the power of a phaser blast.
Naturally occuring. Rock formed by volcanic activity. A real-life geological term.
Artificially generated by crew. A "supervariant" of the hybrid grain known as triticale. Triticale is naturally occurring.
quantum filament
Naturally occuring. An enlongated subatomic object, hundreds of meters long, but possessing almost no mass.
Artificially generated by crew. Used to improve eyesight.
riboviroxicnucleic acid
Naturally occuring. Like DNA, except the number of riboviroxicnucleic acid structures increase as the biological organism ages. In other words, without these structures, we wouldn't be able to "grow up."
Naturally occuring. A mineral.
Naturally occuring. Hardest substance known to science.
Origin unknown. A nontoxic crystalline substance.
Origin unknown. Can alter molecular structure when it comes into contact with glass and exist in a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere.-
Origin unknown. Can store large amounts of energy.
Scalosian water
Naturally occuring. Causes metabolic acceleration, such that anyone who drinks it begins moving extremely quickly.
Naturally occuring. A substance, as carbon is, upon which a form of life is based.
Origin unknown. Highly toxic; can alter molecular structure when it comes in contact with glass and exists in a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. (Try spelling it backwards! This was confirmed by one of the writers at a con.)
Naturally occuring. A neurotransmitter. In real life, helps the human brain maintain mental equilibrium.
soliton wave
In real life, a wave whose energy doesn't diminish. (More complicated than that, but that's the basic idea.) In Star Trek, an artificially generated subspace effect capable of propelling vessels at warp speeds.
Origin unknown. An explosive compound.
Naturally occuring. The Caretaker and his race were sporocystain based lifeforms.
static warp bubble
Artificially generated by crew. An anomaly which creates a new universe whose nature can be affected by the individual trapped inside.
Artificially generated by aliens. A construction material.
Artificially generated by crew. A non-opaque particle used in packaging. It is biologically sterile and can be used to package potentionaly biologically hazardous substances.
Artificially generated by aliens. An alcohol substitute invented by the Ferengi that permits one to enjoy the intoxicating effects of alcoholic beverages without the deleterious effects.
Artificially generated by crew. A FTL (or subspace) particle. (Postulated by some real physics theories.)
Artificially generated by aliens. A ceramic substance.
Tantalus field
Artificially generated by aliens. Causes disruption of matter, like a phaser, but can be formed at a distance. In Greek mythology, Tantalus was a king who served the flesh of his son to the gods; he was punished with eternal thirst and hunger.
Origin unknown. Crystal used to stabilise the harmonic reactions inside the dilithium chamber of Voyager's matter/antimatter power reactor.
temporal wake
Artificially generated by aliens. Side effect of time travel; can cause nearby objects to shift in time along with the ship that's generating a temporal distortion. Objects in a temporal wake exist outside a linear timeline.
Origin unknown. A metal alloy.
Artificially generated by aliens. Nature unknown.
Artificially generated by aliens.
Origin unknown. Highly volatile lubricant used on starships.
Artificially generated by aliens. Subspace particle; shouldn't be found in normal space. (Possibly spelled "tetrion;" I'm using the spelling Tim Lynch used in his synopses.)
Naturally occuring. Thalium compound is found in rocks. It interferes with Federation sensors.
Naturally occuring. Radioactive isotope by-product from the decay of thorium. Thorium is also known as radon-220.
Naturally occuring. Naturally ocurring element, present in limited quantities on Earth. Used in alloys to strengthen metal and in the construction of the "Blackbird" spyplane.
total conversion ray
Artificially generated by aliens. When aimed at a distant point, produces an explosion comparable to a nuclear blast.
transparent aluminum
Artificially generated by crew. Just what the name implies, an invisible metal.
Artificially generated by aliens. Used in fusion-based power sources.
Origin unknown. An explosive compound.
Origin unknown. Presumably something to do with three cobalt atoms.
Naturally occuring. A toxic, inorganic substance which forms pink crystals. They are difficult and expensive to synthesize. Decontamination of tricyanate in a water supply requires the highly volatile hytritium.
trigenic vapor
Naturally occuring. Contains high levels of proteins and amino acids. It is a vital source of nutrition for specific alien species. At high levels, can cause severe humanoid skin irritation.
Artificially generated by aliens. An advanced form of dilithium?
trillium 323
Naturally occuring. A mineral substance.
Naturally occuring. A substance that reacts with trevium to produce non-visible, ultra violet radiation.
trinimbic turbulence
Naturally occuring. An atmosphereic phenomenon. Disruptive to transporter technology, Federation targeting systems and apparently too "turbulent" for a shuttle. In real life, -nimbus is a meteorological suffix indicating that a cloud produces rain.
triolic wave
Artificially generated by aliens. Byproduct of little used Energy production method. Harmful to most life.
Artificially generated by crew. Concentrated oxygen compound.
Origin unknown. Extremely hard substance used in construction of starship hulls. 21.4 times as hard as diamond.
Naturally occuring. A radioactive isotope of hydrogen with atoms of three times the mass of ordinary light hydrogen atoms
Naturally occuring. Biological result of exposure to a temporal disturbance - indicated by elevated levels in the brain.
Origin unknown. Chemical explosive almost undetectable by transporter scanners.
Naturally occuring. An extremely valuable element or mineral to the Ferengi.
Naturally occuring. Generated in the cores or surfaces of White Dwarfs. I really wonder if the writers even know what a white dwarf is...
Artificially generated by crew. Can be detected at great distances, except through a magnetic shield.
Artificially generated by aliens. Somehow damaging to sub-space equipment (not the same as 'vertion')
victurium alloy
Artificially generated by crew. A very dense metal alloy.
Naturally occuring.
warp particle
Artificially generated by crew. Emitted by warp engines.
warp shell
Artificially generated by crew. A field generated by the Enterprise's engines to induce warp travel.
Naturally occuring. A subspace bridge or tunnel between two points in "normal" time and space. Most wormholes are extremely unstable and their end points fluctulate widely across time and space. An improperly balanced warp drive system can create an artifical wormhole that can pose a serious danger to the ship and its crew.
yominium sulfide
Origin unknown. The name is derived from "Nimoy" spelled backwards.
Z particle
Artificially generated by aliens; also a real type of particle. Can mess up sensor and/or visual records. In real life: today's understanding puts particles into two basic categories, matter and exchange particles. Exchange particles are thrown kind of like frisbees between matter particles as the generators of the forces. Photons mediate the electromagnetic force, gluons mediate the strong force, the graviton is proposed (not observed) to mediate the gravitational force. The weak force is mediated by the W+, W-, and Z0 particles.
Naturally occuring. A raw mineral from which a potent compound is derived by the Federation for use in stopping botanical plagues.

Gimme a particle!

If the particle already appears in the above list and you're just adding an episode, please make sure you use the same spelling as above. You can leave the "nature of particle" field empty in that case.

(Due to a small group of obnoxious losers continually entering things like "sex" and "stupidium," new entries are forwarded to me for approval instead of going directly to the page. What impressive wit.)

Particle name:  




Nature of particle:

How used in episode:

There's sulfur, californium, and fermium, berkelium,
and also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium,
and argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc, and rhodium
and chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin, and sodium
These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard,
There may be many others but they haven't been discovered.
- Tom Lehrer, "The Elements" (Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan)

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