# Warp factor

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A **warp factor** is a term indicating velocity in the subspace realm where faster-than-light (FTL) speeds are possible. Starfleet and the Federation has used a scale using cochrane units to measure the distortion potential of a warp drive. An original (OCU) scale was used up until the early 24th century, whereupon a revised scale (MCU) was put into effect when a more complete understanding of the nature of subspace was reached. (*ST* reference: *Starship Spotter*)

## Original cochrane unitEdit

In the 22nd and 23rd centuries, the relationship between warp factor (*WF*) and speed in multiples of the speed of light (X*c*) was defined as:

- X
*c*=*WF*^{3}

This gives a speed of 1*c* for Warp 1, 512*c* at Warp 8, 1000*c* at Warp 10, and so on.

## Modified cochrane unitEdit

In the 24th century, the relationship between warp factor (*WF*) and speed in multiples of the speed of light (X*c*) was defined as:

- For WF 1–9, X
*c*=*WF*^{10/3} - For WF >9, the
*WF*exponent approaches infinity as the*WF*approaches 10.

This gives a speed of 1*c* for Warp 1, 1024*c* at Warp 8, and speeds above 1516*c* at Warp Factors between 9 and 10. Warp 10 is
understood to be infinite speed and thus theoretically impossible to achieve.

The relationship between *Transwarp* and high Warp Factors is ambiguous.

## Speed comparisonEdit

WF | OCU | MCU |
---|---|---|

1 | 1 | 1 |

2 | 8 | 10.08 |

3 | 27 | 38.94 |

4 | 64 | 101.59 |

5 | 125 | 213.75 |

6 | 216 | 392.50 |

7 | 343 | 656.14 |

8 | 512 | 1024 |

9 | 729 | 1516.38 |

10 | 1000 | Infinite |

11 | 1331 | Undefined |

12 | 1728 | Undefined |

13 | 2197 | Undefined |

14 | 2744 | Undefined |

15 | 3375 | Undefined |

The table to the right compares speed in multiples of the speed of light for the two scales.

## BackgroundEdit

The production crew behind *The Next Generation* simply used a hand-drawn curve for decimal Warp Factors between *WF* 9 and 10, and thus there is no correct formula for those speeds in the TNG/DS9/Voyager era.

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