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ragingloli's avatar

Why did the voyager crew not eat on the holodeck?

Asked by ragingloli (34140 points ) October 5th, 2011

As was established, the holodecks had their own isolated power supply, and they were able to replicate objects when it was more sensible than constructing it out of forcefields.
They also used the holodecks all the time.
So why did they not eat on the holodecks, instead of rationing actual replicator use?

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13 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

I assume that the holodeck still has to use resources when it replicates objects rather than using forcefields to imitate them. Even if it has its own energy supply, that doesn’t mean it has its own supply of subatomic particles.

CWOTUS's avatar

To avoid the endless arguments:

“Tastes great!”

“Less filling!”

etc.

talljasperman's avatar

The food would disappear when one left the Holodeck… even eaten and digested food…what if the food was used in cell development and then one left the Holodeck? Also: (NSFW) what did Quark’s workers have to clean up after a HoloSuite was used?

ragingloli's avatar

@SavoirFaire
It does not have to have its own matter storage.

@talljasperman
No, it would not. Only things made from force fields would disappear. The holodeck can also create objects like a normal replicator if necessary. Like the scene where Picard is standing in the hallway and gets hit by a snowball coming out of the holodeck.

talljasperman's avatar

@ragingloli A replicated item needs to be stored afterwards…the Voyager crew would have a bunch of extra pool tables after a few days…a Holodeck item can be deleted, and doesn’t need to be stored anywhere other then a couple lines of code.

ragingloli's avatar

@talljasperman
We are talking about food here, which is ingested and broken down. Excrements can then be recycled.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

The Jetsons…come to mind?

*Anybody?

talljasperman's avatar

@ragingloli Then I change my answer to They could have…but Nealix would be out of a job and I remember that he was a cook so the ship could preserve power by limiting the use of the replicators….but Yes the Star Trek universe writers just didn’t think of it…I’m curious about the answer too.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ragingloli I’m not saying that it has to have its own matter storage. In fact, it would be even worse if it did not since it would then be replicating objects from the exact same store of subatomic particles as every other replicator on the ship. The point is simply this: the replicators cannot make something out of nothing. So when objects are replicated on the holodeck—presumably by way of a replicator built into the room—they are still using resources other than pure energy (unlike the forcefields, which the room can generate from its isolated power supply). Like every other replicator on the ship, then, the holodeck needs subatomic particles out of which to build those objects it replicates rather than imitates.

ragingloli's avatar

@SavoirFaire
Matter resources was never the problem, energy was, that is why they had to ration replicator use.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ragingloli Which episode(s) are you thinking about? I can’t remember one in which the ship was facing energy shortages and the holodeck was used liberally. It seems that if energy was short, holodeck usage would be limited and the power diverted.

ragingloli's avatar

@SavoirFaire
From the beginning, there was energy shortage, because they were 70000 lightyears away from earth, which means no access to antimatter refuelling stations.
They also explained that the holodecks had their own autonomous energy sources that were incompatible with the rest of the ship’s systems.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ragingloli Who’s to say, then, that they didn’t eat on the holodeck? Perhaps they were rationed there as well, though, since the crew had to take account of its total replication capacity.

Several episodes do make passing references to gathering the essential elements for fueling and regulating the antimatter engines, however. It seems like the nature of Voyager’s energy shortages is inconsistent throughout the show. They never really act like they’re short on energy except for when it’s a plot point.

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