Trope-a-Day: Force-Field Door

Force-Field Door: Not generally used, since sensible engineers and architects by and large put doors there for a reason, and prefer it when the doors do not vanish as soon as the power goes out. Even less used as airlocks or spacetight doors, since it’s even more embarrassing when you lose your entire starship’s air supply when the power goes out…

…well, okay. Some ships and stations do use kinetic barriers across bay entrances to make it easier to maneuver things in and out without having to (expensively/slowly) depressurize the entire bay, or leave it depressurized all the time and thus require everyone working in the bay to wear vacuum suits all the time. However:

  1. They are not used as a substitute for regular bay doors, which exist because while you can set the barrier strength such that the modal molecule will lack the KE to penetrate, the statistical distribution of molecular KE still means a kinetic barrier any less solid than actual matter is effectively a continuous slow leak. Caveat life support engineer, and hence you fit actual bay doors to close when you aren’t needing to get stuff in and out through the barrier; and
  2. Said bay doors are fitted with fail-safe automatic high-speed closers, because when the power goes out, you don’t want to lose any more than you have to, especially since the escaping air may take other things with it; and
  3. The doors between the rest of the starship and the bay are airlocks, because a kinetic barrier or anything else power-dependent should not be considered a reliable pressure boundary; and
  4. Anyone working in the bay will keep their emergency breathers close to hand.

3 thoughts on “Trope-a-Day: Force-Field Door

  1. On the spacesuit side, I just posit spacesuits that are nearly as comfortable as regular clothing (if more inconvenient to get into). With nanotechnology, they could be MORE comfortable, except for the whole catheter thing… no getting around that, I suppose.

  2. Too lazy to crawl through your archives, but don’t your planet-based launch systems use big electromagnetic catapults? A plasma window on the end of one of those could be described as a forcefield door with a vacuum on one side.

    I wonder though. A kinetic barrier being used to hold in an atmosphere might be quite an impediment to movement of anything else through it, no? At least in one direction. I don’t recall you going in to very much detail about kinect barriers in the past, so its hard to say…

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