Tuesday, 12 January 2010

What fuels the TARDIS

A chap called Allen posted on my Blog - regarding the fueling of the TARDIS. It stirred up enough thoughts in me to warrent a full blog post.

Allen said - In the series, the Doctor now has to refuel his TARDIS using Artron Energy. I am thinking this may have been the back-up power system originally but now is the only one due to Eye being destroyed/timelocked

In one way that makes more sense, but from another perspective also supports the more mysterious and ancient origins of the Doctor - if that is possible, Isolating ones Tardis from the Prime Eye so it could fuel itself, how come it was never done before?

In "The Rise of the Cybermen" the Doctor points out the TARDIS can only operate on power from its own Universe - I am not aware of Artron Energy being mentioned as the TARDIS' power source, only that is present with a TARDIS' "heart".

The only mention I can find is in the Sara Jane Adventures - where the Doctor tells the kids they can use Artron energy that powers the TARDIS to fight the Trickster.

HOWEVER this is somewhat contradicted by various sources.

In the 1996 TV Movie, the TARDIS now has its own version of the Eye (either a mini singularity or a link the the Eye on Gallifrey) which would explain how the TARDIS could continue without GALLIFREY being present.

In "Boom Town" and "Utopia" the Doctor Parks the TARDIS on the Cardiff Rift to re-charge from the Radiation emitted from the Rift (the Radiation is not described as Artron Radiation) - as Artron Radiation is present in all things that occur naturally throughout history or have travelled in time - why would the Doctor need to re-charge in a specific place to soak up Artron Radiation. Surely just stop in the Time Vortex itself and soak up the Artron Radiation present therein?

In Boom Town Margret is intending to build the 'faulty' Nuclear Power Plant on the Rift - so the leaking Radiation would cause the Power Plant to go critical. Logic dictates the energy being released from the Rift is of a more dangerous type than Artron (which is for the most part harmless unless absorbed in MASSIVE quantities like Rose did in "The Parting of the Ways") further leading to the concept that the Doctor is soaking up a different form of Radiation.

Singularities such as Black Holes theoretically emit a form of Radiation called "Hawking radiation" (also known as Bekenstein-Hawking Radiation) is a thermal radiation with a black body spectrum predicted to be emitted by black holes due to quantum effects (Black holes' Hawking radiation result from virtual particles. These are particle pairs produced by quantum mechanics. One of the pair is a normal particle, the other its exact twin only with an opposite electrical charge. Usually these two particles self-annihilate almost instantaneously, but in the presence of the immense gravitational field of a black hole one particle may be sucked in before the self-destruction can occur. This leaves the other particle free. The net result appears as though the black hole emitted radiation).

As TARDIS's are powered originally by the Eye of Harmony (itself a Singularity) logic dictates that this would be the Radiation that could potentially charge up and fuel a TARDIS.

Yet the Doctors comment about the TARDIS being powered by Artron Radiation isn't as spurious as one might think - the TARDIS might be powered by Artron Radiation, but it isn't fuelled by it. Just as a Car with a combustion engine is powered by electricity, but needs petrol or diesel for fuel.

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