WIP: Phoron rewrite
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Assigned to: Runa
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- 1 Properties
- 2 Handling and Accident prevention
- 3 Structure and significance
- 4 History
Phoron, often referred to as the oil of the 26th century, is the primary means of Faster than Light Travel, the key component of medicine with miraculous properties and the primary component of Supermatter Engine, among other, yet undiscovered applications. Frequently found on celestial bodies orbiting dying suns in trace quantities, or harvested directly from the suns themselves, Phoron remains perhaps the sole commodity with true scarcity. As of 2561, only two major celestial bodies have been observed to possess phoron in abundance: Roanoke from Nyx system and Virgo-3B from Virgo-Erigone system - both of which are controlled by NanoTrasen.
|Atomic Number (Z)||162|
|Relative Atomic Weight||405|
|Specific Heat [J/(mol*K)]||200|
|Flashpoint with Oxygen||126 °C / 399.15 K|
Handling and Accident prevention
Phoron is a highly volatile, combustible and toxic substance capable of causing blindness, liver failure if left untreated and will contaminate protective equipment. Whether in solid, liquid or gaseous phase, utmost care should be taken.
Treatment of exposure
Upon exposure to gaseous phoron, one must remove all contaminated equipment at once when further exposure is unlikely. Upon successful prevention of decontamination, or before should the subject be in a critical state, an airlock pill should be administered. Should the victim be rendered unconscious from pain, toxic injuries or lung trauma, Dyvolene or Carthatoline should be administered intravenously. In case of lung trauma, Dexaline or Dexaline plus should be introduced intravenously as well alongside Inaprovaline to prevent death by suffocation. Should the victim's eyes also be exposed to gaseous phoron, administration of Imidazoline drops is recommended. Barring eye damage, cryogenic treatment is sufficient to stabilize most patients.
Upon ingestion of solid or liquid phoron, activated charcoal must be administered alongside Dyvolene or Carthatoline.
Due to advanced protective techniques, backpacks, duffel bags, satchels, purses and their contents; goggles, gas masks lab coats and winter coats, latex gloves and vacuum rated E.V.A suits needn't undergo decontamination. For everything else, use of on-board washing machines is sufficient.
In all cases, when working with Phoron, open flames are strictly forbidden. During chemical processes requiring administration of heat, electric heating elements must be used. The only exception is when combustion is desired - in such circumstances the employee must ensure that they possess the sufficient tools to control the combustion and prevent fatalities should its temperatures exceed the rated temperature of the containment structures. It is highly advised to introduce either an excess of phoron rather than the oxidizing agent to combustion chambers, as the excess will prevent the temperatures from rising rapidly. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen impurities are also recommended, although their respective specific heats will require additional care.
Handling of solid and liquid Phoron
While in solid or liquid form, its structural properties will prevent it from reducing substances it should come in contact with, destabilization of said structure - through spillage for instance - will cause the liquid to evaporate in a rapid fashion, making precautions for handling gaseous phoron even in a pharmaceutical laboratory necessary. At the very least, those working with phoron in its liquid phase should wear goggles, jumpsuits or jumpskirts with their legs covered, latex gloves and either wear a sterile mask or make sure to have a gas mask at hand for rapid deployment. When at risk of large scale spillage, make sure to also have an emergency oxygen tank in pocket or on the back. Ingestion of the raw material is strictly forbidden.
Handling of Gaseous Phoron
When working with gaseous Phoron, even in instances when not introduced to the atmosphere, wearing gas masks with emergency oxygen canisters in one's own pockets is mandatory, alongside the wearing of biohazard resistant uniforms, latex gloves and goggles.
Handling during an electrical storm, or other instabilities of the electrical grid
All light sources at risk of bursting from over voltage, or any other potential sources of sparks must be turned off or disconnected from the grid for duration of the instability. Failure to do so may lead to unplanned combustion. NanoTrasen has recorded deaths in the hundreds that were caused by negligence of this warning.
Handling of Supermatter
Unactivated Supermatter must not be directly touched, or the employee will be at risk of complete destruction. Use of the cart handles is MANDATORY.
Activated Supermatter must be kept cool, at standard operating temperatures described in the engine manual. Even at normal operating temperatures, one must wear protective equipment against radiation and biological hazards. Activated supermatter will produce phoron, oxygen, heat and ionizing radiation. Being in the same local atmospheric system as Activated Supermatter is highly discouraged. Atmospheric technician voidsuits MAY be used to interact with such systems, but are not recommended.
Exposure should be treated as a combination of gaseous exposure and ionizing radiation exposure.
Structure and significance
Despite its generous industrial and medical applications by both NanoTrasen and otherwise, Phoron is still a barely understood substance. While it was proven that there are 162 protons present, analytical studies have shown an inconsistent number of neutrons despite the Relative Atomic Weight remaining constant. Further studies have revealed the presence of a yet unprecedented subatomic particle that was named Alden-Saraspova particle after its discoverers, whose stable existence appears to be tied to being present in both Bluespace and Realspace. Through application of sufficient energy to the phoron particle, the transdimensional particles within collapse in Realspace, bringing with them a set amount of matter directly proportional to the amount of particles collapsed. The discovery of this phenomenon has opened the realm of faster-than-light travel through jump drives.
Furthermore, through controlled delamination of solidified phoron enriched with Alden-Saraspova particles, colloqially referred to as Supermatter, one can produce a yet limitless source of energy. By products of the delamination process are ionising radiation, gaseous phoron and oxygen. The gaseous phoron, upon reacting with a strong oxidiser, collapses the remaining Alden-Saraspova particles releasing heat and carbon dioxide. It is not yet understood why and how, but engineers are more than happy to work with this phenomenon.
Finally, due to its unlikely stability produced by its ties to bluespace, Phoron can be used to either catalyse highly endothermic reactions at attainable conditions, or to stabilize otherwise unstable compounds. This property has led to the discovery of miracle medicine such as Dexaline and cryo/clonexadone.
Phoron was discovered in trace quantities from extrasolar asteroids during the late 22th century, but held no major purpose beyond baffling scientists with its stability. As humanity expanded and found red dwarves seemingly far ahead of their expected lifespans, already in process of dying. This development has caused quite a stir in the scientific community, and raised questions whose majority remain unanswered even today. The only possible explanation for their existence was the abundance of the super-heavy element, Phoron, on the celestial bodies surrounding said stars.
However, in 2411, a group of researchers led by Eirik Alden and Anastasia Sarapova have made a discovery that changed the nature of Faster Than Light travel forever. By developing sensors for the exotic particles created through antimatter reactions for Bluespace jump drives, they discovered that both the dying red stars and phoron itself naturally contain the particles that bind Realspace and Bluespace together. In honour of their discovery, the yet mysterious, elusive particle of centuries past was christened the Alden-Sarapova particle, and modern Anomalists still praise their name in their quest to understand the seemingly magical artifacts scattered around asteroids and moons rich in phoron.
By the 26th century, Humanity has pressed its best to map the stars for dying red dwarves, to be used as pit stops by interstellar explorers, and to be mined for industrial applications. So far, of all the dying red dwarves, only two systems were discovered to have relatively habitable moons with atmospheres rich in the new black gold. NanoTrasen, employing its vast resources, has successfully staked its claim on both of the moons, achieving a tentative monopoly on FTL fuel that drew the ire of numerous competitors.