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Up to date as of February 02, 2010

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ELEMENT
dilithium

Dilithium crystals
Symbol
(Terran)
Dl or Dt
Atomic number 119
Atomic weight (315)*
*most stable form

Dilithium (abbreviated Dl) is a chemical element, a transuranic metal that occurs in crystalline form. Dilithium is element number 119 on the periodic table. This element was discovered by Humans in 2049 on Jupiter V. (ST reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)

Contents

Overview

Dilithium was a rare transuramic element that was formed naturally by violent explosions or supernovas. (TOS novel: Preserver) It was the only known material which could regulate matter/antimatter reactions, which was why it is used by most species in their warp drives. Different compositions and origins produced slightly different appearances in the crystals, ranging in shape and color. Its atomic weight is 315, and its atomic number is 119. (ST reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)

Originally, the lifespan of dilithium was limited until methods were discovered in recrystallizing fractured crystals. This caused a drop in the value of dilithium, which was a precious element around 2275. (TOS novel: Preserver)

History

Human explorers first discovered dilithium on Jupiter V (Amalthea) in 2049. (ST reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual; TAS novelization: The Time Trap)

Having a large supply of dilithium almost instantly promoted a planet into prominence in interplanetary politics, as other species seek trade. Some planets known for their dilithium deposits include Coridan III, Troyius, and Avaton II. (TOS video game: Starfleet Academy - Strategic Command)

The planet Direidi was one of the most concentrated locations of dilithium in known Federation space, and was located on the border to Klingon space. (TOS novel: How Much for Just the Planet?)

Pharos, burning after its dilithium deposites were ignited by phaser fire.

In 2254 Starfleet engineers constructing Project Pharos on the Pharos siteworld in the Marrat system discovered huge deposits of incredibly pure dilithium; of such purity that had it been mined it would not have required refining. Because Marrat was an open system Starfleet opted to keep the discovery a secret, concerned it could provoke a gold rush, or war! Unfortunately Klingon Commander Kaaj did find out about the discovery and attacked Pharos in response. When the USS Enterprise was sent to investigate why communications had been lost with Pharos Kaaj attacked the starship. To solve the dilemma Captain Christopher Pike had the Enterprise fire on Pharos, igniting the entire planet in a chain reaction, and eliminating the source of conflict. (EV comic: "The Fires of Pharos")

Although the planet Halka was rich in dilithium, the Halkan Council was reluctant to associate with organizations with militaristic tendencies. (TOS novel: Preserver)

In 2355, the planets and moons of the Maxia Zeta star system were discovered be richly endowed with many minerals including dilithium. (TLE/TNG novel: The Buried Age)

Romulan scientist Tavorak was reputed to have created a virus that ate dilithium and attempted to sell his creation to the highest bidder making him a wanted criminal. (TNG comics: "A Matter of Conscience...", "The Truth Elusive")

The planet Konnoria V was notable for the brutality of its dilithium mines. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)

Usage

A dilithium crystal

During the 23rd century, the crystals often deteriorated rapidly during adverse situations, so starships often kept large supplies of them on board. (TOS video game: Starfleet Academy - Strategic Command)

During a trip back to the 20th century to retrieve two humpback whales, the dilithium crystals of the Klingon ship Kirk and his crew were using began to wear out. Since fission based nuclear reactors was still in use, Captain Spock determined that it might have been possible to obtain high energy protons from such a reactor, and bombard the crystals with them - thus causing dilithium to recrystallize. After obtaining such protons from the United States aircraft carrier Enterprise, Spock and Engineer Montgomery Scott were able to successfully recrystallize dilithium. (TOS movie: The Voyage Home)

By the 24th century, the process of recrystallizing dilithium had been refined to the point that it had become routine on board Federation vessels. Using a theta-matrix compositor, dilithium could be recrystallized inside the warp reaction chamber. (TNG episodes: "Family", "Skin of Evil")

See also

Appendices

This section is written
from the Real World
point of view.
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Background

Dilithium appeared as an element on a Periodic Table of Elements that contained many jokes not meant to be legible on screen in the TNG episode: "Rascals", with the chemical symbol "Dt". The Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual lists it as symbol Dl. However scientifically the use of the prefix "di-" denotes two atoms, suggesting dilithium is actually a chemical compound consisting of two atoms of lithium.

External links


This article uses material from the "Dilithium" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See Memory-Alpha.org for the canon Star Trek wiki.

Dilithium is a rare transperiodic element in the hypersonic series, usually found in crystalline form throughout the galaxy. It is one of the key components of warp drive, regulating the flow of matter and antimatter.

Planets rich in dilithium were of very high strategic importance. Some of those worlds included Coridan, Elas, and Halka. (TOS: "Journey to Babel", "Elaan of Troyius", "Mirror, Mirror")

The Klingon and Romulan Star Empires both used prisoners to mine dilithium from Rura Penthe and Remus, respectively. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek Nemesis)

Dilithium-rich planets near the borders between galactic powers were often sources of contention. Ghioghe, in the Triangle between Federation, Klingon and Romulan space was one, as was Pharos in the Marrat Nebula. (Yesterday's Heroes; Star Trek: Early Voyages comic: "The Fires of Pharos")

Dilithium crystals were fragile things, and could crack under severe strain, such as ship-to-ship combat, or a temporal breakaway maneuver. However, Captains Spock and Montgomery Scott devised a method of recrystallizing dilithium while stranded on Earth in 1986 and by the 24th century, dilithium recrystallization had become commonplace aboard Federation starships. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; TNG: "Family")

In the 24th century, Coleman Dynamic Industries and the Dytallix Mining Corporation were leading civilian firms in the Federation dilithium industry. (Star Trek: Pendragon)

External links


This article uses material from the "Dilithium" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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