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Naquadah

From Stargate LRP

[ A Study of the Properties of the various states & forms of "Naquadah"]

[ Introduction]

In the course of recent encounters with the technology of the race known as the Goa'uld one material has manifested itself in so many different guises that it requires particular study. The single mnemonic “Naquadah” is used to identify this material, though it is evident in at least two physical forms under the same conditions and exhibits apparently mutually exclusive characteristics. The purpose of this study is to review the known facts about Naquadah & propose rationales for the properties and behaviours exhibited.

[ Summary of properties]

  • “Naquada” appears as a metallic solid at NTP most notably in the material of the Stargate itself.
  • It also appears as a viscous green liquid in the power cells of the Jaffa Staff weapon & the hand weapon commonly known as the ”Zat” gun.
  • It is understood that part of the power mechanism of the Stargate depends on the behaviour of this material as a natural capacitor.
  • It can be confidently inferred from the amounts of power required for the Stargate to function & the fact that it does not get hot in operation that the material it is composed of must be a superconductor.
  • “Naquada” putatively provides the source of power for much alien technology despite the fact that it is not radioactive & couples are required for other known forms of power generation.
  • A radioactive isotope “Naquadria” is known to exist.
  • Naquada is believed to exert a catalytic effect on other reactions, enhancing the reaction without itself becoming changed by it.

[ Empirical observation]

  • The author has conducted observation of the Stargate using a spectrometer & a high power laser. Though the material is exceptionally resistant to attack of all kinds a few molecules were vaporised to enable spectroscopic analysis of the elements present. The spectral lines so produced were used as a reference identity for the (assumed at this stage) element Naquada.
  • Similar observations were made of various other alien artifacts associated with the Goa'uld, notably a Staff weapon & a Zatn’katel. In both cases the spectral lines of elements from the known periodic table are evident, along with the signature lines of Naquada and the as yet unidentified lines of other material(s).
  • Observation of the function and operation of the Stargate show a clear energy build up followed by a release of energy into the developing event horizon clearly analogous to the charge and discharge of a capacitor.
  • From all observations we have been able to make, “Naquada” power sources appear to provide power directly. This is substantiated by: The lack of emitted radiation from these devices; the absence of observable heat exchange; the absence of acoustic or vibration signatures that might be associated with rotating/moving parts.
  • The above observations rule out either fission or high temperature fusion reactions as the underlying process for power generation. Both rely on the production of heat to power or drive other machines, either for electricity generation or doing direct mechanical work.

[ Experimental work]

  • The same caveat would apply to low temperature fusion, however it should be appreciated that the author is a practical engineer, not a theoretician or nuclear physicist. Whilst the objective of ditechnology, or at least substantially exceeding the power available from current Earth technology, without the attendant risks from ionising radiation, high temperatures etc. To this end it was considered that a fusion process operating at temperatures below say, red heat would fulfil such a requirement.
  • Through contacts in the vehicle industry it was arranged to conduct a series of experiments using small quantities of Naquada to dope the catalysts of Case/Arata/Zhang electrochemical fusion cells, under the pretext of developing an alternative vehicle power source. On a laboratory scale these experiments were spectacularly successful producing excess temperatures of several hundred degrees . Unfortunately on an engineering scale they proved entirely unstable causing such rapid temperature rises that uncontrollable flash steam generation occurred routinely, with the attendant risk of an explosion. Ultimately a minor accident was arranged to excuse the termination of the experiments & cover up the nature of the modified catalyst. It is the author’s opinion that servo systems using Goa’uld crystal technology might offer a means of controlling such a generator once they are more fully understood.
  • Study of the power cells for the Jaffa staff weapons & Zatn’katel, along with observations regarding the lack of heat production etc. all suggest that at the portable power level the generation process is almost certainly electrochemical, i.e. a battery or fuel cell. Although the above series of experiments appeared initially to offer the prospect of greater overall power production they are not practical for portable & certainly not for hand held equipment.
  • A further series of experiment were conducted in house using commercially available fuel cells, again by doping the catalysts to improve efficiency. Significant gains were made by this means without the requirement for separate hardware to convert the heat generated into electrical power. An experimental 5kVA generator of similar overall dimensions to a conventional petrol driven motor/generator is currently undergoing trials and is presently operating stably. However this unit has no major moving parts, is silent in operation and produces no noxious exhaust. It is apparent that the output is limited largely by the resistance of the external circuitry and that it could easily be doubled or tripled if super conducting components were available. Unfortunately this would require a far greater supply of Naquada than is presently available.
  • This is not comparable with the power densities achieved in the staff & Zat power cells but potentially well in excess of anything currently achieved by conventional terrestrial technology.

[ Other experimentation.]

  • Separately from the above work, attempts were made to recharge the power cells from both Zat & staff weapons. Working on the assumption that these are electrochemical batteries, and that both primary & secondary batteries using terrestrial technologies can be recharged to a greater or lesser degree a series of reverse current operations was carried out upon a cell from each weapon under carefully monitored conditions.
  • Steps of increasing voltage were applied to the cells both a steady state and pulsed charges of varying duty cycles. Continuous monitoring was maintained for increase in temperature or pressure in the cell, physical distortion of the case and the production of gaseous products. Without the benchmark of a known fully charged cell it is difficult to estimate the results but at the present time we have been able to recharge cells from both weapons to about 40% of their received state by applying high voltage rectified AC pulses over periods of 24 to 48 hrs. Permission is currently being sought for a further experiment to attempt to approach full charge but additional precautions against the risk of explosion are felt necessary before that can be undertaken.

[ Conclusions]

Deriving from the above studies several conclusions can be reached:

  • The single term “Naquada” is a misnomer. The authors working hypothesis is that the material of the Stargate is Naquada and that the green viscous liquid of the Zat and staff weapon power cells is a compound of Naquada with other as yet unidentified materials forming an electrochemical battery.
  • The use of the collective term “Naquada” for both the pure material and it’s compounds would explain it’s apparent presentation in different states of matter under the same conditions of temperature and pressure.
  • Naquada is indeed a superconductor.
  • Naquada structures can be made to exhibit charge storing properties, i.e. electrical capacitance. Based on the organic characteristics exhibited by all Goa’uld artefacts with which the author has come into contact, they appear to be more grown, than constructed or assembled, As there are large amounts of chemically active elements, principally Oxygen in the structure of the Stargate the authors speculation is that alternate layers of pure Naquada and an insulating oxide or compound of Naquada could be grown into a structure which would exhibit a large electrical capacitance. The basic layered structure is highly similar to the properties exhibited by the common element Aluminium.
  • From the authors experimentation Naquada does catalyse other reactions.

[ Other information]

Naquada is similar in density to “heavy” elements like Uranium but is not radioactive. It has an extremely high melting point making it difficult to refine. Processing takes 4-8 months depending on the quality of the ore.

Naquada binds to Haemoglobin to form a stable compound, the Naquadah displaces the iron in the Haem group to produce a stronger afinity variant Naquaglobin, more research into this needs to be conducted, it may provide a solution to use of Goa'uld only technology, such as the hand device

I have done a number of experiments into this and not got anywhere so far. Currently the Caluu are seeing if they can work a sample into blood for us but so far received no results on this JK

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[ Essential Naquadah]

Probably the key element encountered in the Stargate universe is naquadah. It is the material of the Stargate itself & an essential component of most Goa’uld, Jaffa, Tok’ra, Asgard and Ancient weapons & power systems. It has a variety of odd properties which make it the centre of major areas of research. It is also relatively commonplace in the artefacts of the races named above & new sources of ore are in relatively short supply.

On missions you will encounter it routinely, so you need some basic knowledge about it, in order to handle it safely, without getting into the complexities of naquadah research.


Properties

Naquadah has a variety of properties attributed to it incorrectly. It is said to be unstable, it isn’t. It is said to be radioactive, it isn’t. It’s said to be explosive, it isn’t. Having said that, it does need handling with care and a correct understanding of its actual properties is essential to knowing how to handle it properly.


Stability

The Stargates, composed mainly of naquadah, have existed for in the region of 10 million years. Have you ever seen a rusty or corroded one? Unstable materials generally react chemically with a wide variety of other materials, often violently, like Sodium in water. Naquadah on the other hand is not seriously eroded by any of the most reactive & corrosive chemicals we know. Naquadah is, however, probably the closest thing to a universal catalyst that we have ever encountered. Tiny quantities of naquadah introduced into most chemical reaction cycles immediately cause the reaction to accelerate, without becoming involved in the reaction itself. Since, for our purposes, one of the commonest uses for it has been to accelerate explosive reactions, it is easy to see why it has gained the reputation of being unstable. If at some future date we ever have naquadah catalysts for our car engines, I’m sure there will be a thriving industry recovering the element from poisoned catalysts, just like we do now with the platinum but it’s pretty difficult after an explosion to determine if any naquadah present in the resulting debris was involved in the chemical reaction!


Radio activity

The Stargates are a clear indicator here too. The majority of gates I’ve ever seen, other than those in our own installations have been surrounded by open country, often by lush vegetation, invariably not markedly different from the general flora of the planet. There are no dead irradiated wastelands around ‘gates. There are not mutated species, stillborn offspring or any of the other indicators of radiation effects. Gates do not produce any response on a Geiger counter or radiation dosimeter. Although, in sufficiently large doses, naquadah is a heavy metal poison, exposure to it, by ingestion or inhalation produces none of the cell damage mutations or other effects associated with radiation sickness.


Universal Catalyst

Because, as noted above, it catalyses all chemical reactions & has superconducting properties it has very dramatic effects which can easily result in massive explosions but it is not of itself explosive. The chemical processes in any naquadah based or enhanced power source, or battery will run much faster than normal. Short circuiting such a device, with their inherent low internal resistance will enable a massive release of energy, usually an explosion. An Earth technology NiMH battery will do exactly the same thing but at much, much lower energy levels.


Liquid Naquadah

Naquadah is a silver grey, crystalline material normally

It is also seen as vials of a luminous greenish yellow liquid in the powercells of staff weapons.

As no other element is known to exist in two states of matter, at the same temperature and pressure, it is clear that this liquid is not pure naquadah. Solid naquadah has the property of storing power (as in the gate). So called liquid naquadah appears to be the power source for staff weapons (i.e. it generates power, rather than storing it.) This leads to the conclusion that it is a power generating couple, i.e. a naquadah/?????? battery, like a zinc/carbon, or nickel/cadmium battery. The exact nature of the couple has, thus far, been impossible to determine, because of the universal catalyst effect. We believe the power production process takes place at the molecular level. All attempts at dismantling/wafer sectioning, etc, so far, have resulted in internal short circuits and the explosive destruction of the test piece. Currently there is a ban on further testing.


Magnetic properties

One of the few things that naquadah does not seem to affect is the coercivity of magnetic materials. Doping the wire of an electromagnet with naquadah will give it superconducting properties, resulting in higher current & more ampere turns in the coil. This, of course, results in a more powerful magnetic field around the coil but doping the core of the coil, or doping a permanent magnet has no effect.


Naquaglobin

A characteristic of infestation by a symbiote is a rise in naquadah levels in the body. Like other heavy metals, naquadah breathed or ingested cannot be excreted from the body, so exposure to it in alien technology results in a rise of the naquadah count in a blood test. In the case of someone infested by a symbiote, naquadah replaces some of the iron in the individual’s haemoglobin. This imparts the ability to operate some pieces of Goa’uld technology. The blood test is the principal means of identifying an individual potentially host to a symbiote. In a normal human who has been off world thro’ the Stargate the naquadah level would be below 3 on the standard test instrument. Exposure through work on Earth spacecraft or other sources can raise it to in the region of 5 but there are individuals whose reading is as high as 8 (all on a scale of 1 to 10). At these levels, other medical tests are required to absolutely identify the presence, or otherwise, of a symbiote. (WARNING Any individual carrying a symbiote is unlikely to submit to such tests without resistance.)


Naquadria

As stated above, naquadah is not radioactive. Naquadria is an isotope of naquadah & is highly radioactive. It is also much less stable than naquadah. The radiation from naquadria has a drastic effect on nerve cells, producing symptoms of schizophrenia. Its effects are irreversible.


Handling & general use

Naquadah in solid form is broadly safe to handle. Munitions detonating near a Stargate will not cause it to “go critical”, they have even survived near misses from nuclear attack.

Alloying electrical conductors like copper & aluminium with naquadah produces room temperature superconductors. Any naquadah based power source is likely to violently overheat & explode if overloaded or short circuited. This effect is quite complex, observably, such events produce more energy output than the electrical energy in the system. Initially high circulating current due to the low resistance of the superconducting circuits will produce extreme heating. This will cause materials in the system to begin to react chemically & be catalysed by the naquadah present, resulting in the excessive energy output.

Machining & working naquadah will result in higher than normal blood counts in the operatives performing the work.

Intimately mixing small quantities of naquadah will result in a (usually violent) increase in the rate of any chemical reaction.

These two effects combine to make working & machining naquadah quite hazardous. Such operations must be carried out in controlled environments that minimise operator exposure & prevent dust, swarf & turnings contaminating other industrial processes.

NO attempt may be made to machine or work it in the general workshop or armoury facilities.

In general, solid naquadah & articles made of or containing naquadah are completely stable for all normal usage. They may accelerate extremely violent events such as major explosions & nuclear events. From the perspective of an individual in proximity to such an event, it would be a catastrophic occurrence anyway. From the macro perspective, should the event be of sufficient violence to be catalysed by the presence of naquadah, a tenfold increase in energy output can be expected.

On the other hand, finely divided dust, particles or flakes of naquadah in contact with chemically reactive material will readily turn a firework sized explosion into a hand grenade blast. Again, a tenfold increase in energy output can be expected.

If you placed a kilo solid block of naquadah on top of a kilo of PE4 & detonated the explosive, you’d get a big lump of naquadah flying through the air! If you put a few grams of naquadah powder into a kilo of PE4, you’d get a very big bang indeed!

Naquadah is in extremely short supply, except in already manufactured artefacts. To my knowledge we do not have access to any sources of unrefined ore. Our sources of supply are limited to small amounts acquired by trade or other means & by recovering it from artefacts damaged beyond repair. Anybody seeking access to the material will need to submit a full project summary on the purpose for which it is required, including a costs/benefit analysis. The relevant paperwork is available from the stores & should be countersigned by your Team Leader & the SEF Technical Manager before submission to the Officer Commanding for final approval.

NO attempt whatsoever may be made to experiment with, modify or dismantle any device containing liquid naquadah

Possession of undeclared amounts of naquadah for any purpose will result in disciplinary action.


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