Subspace (Star Trek)

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A visualization of a warp field—the ship rests in a bubble of normal space.

In the Star Trek fictional universe, subspace is a feature of space-time that facilitates faster-than-light transit, in the form of interstellar travel or the transmission of information.[1] Subspace obeys different laws of physics. Subspace has also been adopted and used in other fictional settings, such as the Stargate franchise, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, and the Descent: Freespace.

In most Star Trek series, subspace communications are a means to establish nearly instantaneous contact with people and places that are light-years away. The physics of Star Trek describe infinite speed (expressed as Warp 10) as an impossibility; as such, even subspace communications which putatively travel at speeds over Warp 9.9 may take hours or weeks to reach certain destinations. Since subspace signals do not degrade with the square of the distance as do other methods of communication utilizing conventional bands of the electromagnetic spectrum (i.e. radio waves), signals sent from a great distance can be expected to reach their destination at a predictable time and with little relative degradation (barring any random subspace interference or spatial anomalies).

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