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Lexicon: Star Fleet Terminology - P
P 
PADDAcronym for Personal Access Display Device, a hand-held access terminal to a computer system. PADDS are equipped with a display and touch sensitive areas and have limited built-in memory and computing capability. They are employed to establish uplinks and downlinks to computer systems and may serve as transporter locks-ons. Apart from Starfleet, PADDs are used by most other advanced civilizations. Since it is a non-expensive prop, different PADD designs exist for virtually every civilization in the galaxy. Still, the user interface is similar for all of them, indicating that a common standard was found for ergonomic design. This might explain why no one has ever difficulties in using alien PADDs, let alone reading their letters.
Pattern BufferPart of the transporter system, usually located on the deck below the transporter platform. The pattern buffer is used for short-term storage of the matter stream, thereby providing a delay necessary to compensate for relative velocity (Doppler compensator, filter out hazardous organic materials (biofilter) or transfer the pattern to another pattern buffer in case of a transporter malfunction.
Pattern Enhancer Device that improves transporter pattern recognition in case of electromagnetic disturbances. The pattern enhancer is a cylinder with a length of approx. 1m and was introduced in Starfleet around 2369. Usually three pattern enhancers are employed in a triangular formation around the object that is supposed to be beamed.
The Phage A rapidly advancing, adaptive and highly resistant disease which has decimated the Vidiian population by consuming bodies, destroying genetic codes and cellular structures.
Phase ShiftGeneric term for a movement to a state outside the normal space-time continuum. Phase shifts are frequently created using either an interphase cloaking device, a phase discriminator, an unknown type of phase shifter or a chroniton based device. Usually phase shift seems to be an essentially temporal displacement, while the interphase generator might be based on a spatial shift or parallel space.
PhasedState or property of matter and energy. Things can be offset slightly in a time-like dimension from our phase of the universe. The idea being that two obejects have different phases we can't interact with each other without using special particles or fields. Dark matter can make objects continually phase in and out of our universe.
Phased matterIntermediate state between matter and energy. The matter stream generated in the transporter as well as for excited matter produced in the warp and fusion reactors, where it seems to be the same as plasma.
Phaser Acronym for Phased Energy Rectification, energy discharge weapon used by the Federation. Energy stored in the Phaser is released within a short time and directed towards the target, unlike the usually constant energy output of lasers. The phaser's function is based on the rapid nadion effect, where nadions are subatomic particles that allow to liberate strong nuclear forces. Shipboard phaser banks are attached to the outer hull of a starship in form of small apertures or domes in the 23rd century that are extended to segmented strips and finally rings in the 24th century. Phaser beams travel at light speed, and the maximum efficient operation range is 300,000km. Hand-held phasers are available in different sizes, ranging from small Type 1 and larger Type 2 to Type 3 phaser rifles
Phaser ArrayLiner Arrays of phaser emitter crystals. Ship borne weapons. These were introduced on the Ambassador Class in the mid 2320s, replacing the older Phaser Ball Emitters as a ship's primary weapons system. Improvements over Phaser Ball Emitters are shorter recharge times, shorter cool down times (heat is spread out over several emitter crystals instead of one Ball Emitter), thus improving power yields and ranges.
Phaser Ball EmitterPhaser emplacement on early (2200-2300) Federation Starships. Ball turret enplacements normally housed in twos. Phaser Ball Emitters had longer cool down, longer recharge times, and shorter ranges than modern Phaser Arrays.Phase Transition Coils - Parts of a transporter, in which phased matter is converted back to normal matter.
Photon torpedo Matter/antimatter annihilation weapon used by Starfleet, the Klingon Defense Force, and others. A Starfleet photon torpedo contains deuterium and magnetically constrained antideuterium tanks, target guidance and a warp sustainer. In contrast to phasers, photon torpedoes can be used at warp speed.
Photonic MissileBorg weapon similar to photon torpedoes. Plasma - Ionized gas, often regarded as the forth state of matter besides the solid, fluid and gaseous state. Consisting of charged particles, plasma is electrically conductive. Due to this property and the fact that the excited electrons in a plasma are on higher energy level than bound electrons in other forms of matter, plasma is suited to transport energy. In particular, plasma is employed to provide the necessary power for the warp drive and other systems of a starship. The EPS serves to distribute plasma throughout the ship. The continuously occuring relaxation of excited electrons from a higher to a lower energy level becomes obvious in a characteristic glow.
Plasma Infusion Unit An instrument used for transfusions of blood, blood plasma, and/or electrolytes into patients that need them. It is used the same way blood transfusions in the 20th-century. The Plasma Infusion Unit also provides filtration of the material to be delivered.
Plasma injectorsPart of the warp drive that injects matter in the matter/antimatter reactor.Plasma Torpedo - Used by Romulans, Gorns, and Krazzle. Shaped plasma charge that uses ionized gas and trilithium. Original Romulan plasma torpedoes were pure plasma that dissipated the further it traveled, with a destructive power at close range of five photon torpedos, dissipating in strength to zero as it travels. The current design doesn't suffer from this draw back, however it's destructive force is only slightly more then a Photon torpedo
Polaric ionsUsed as a power generation system by an alien species. Very unstable, caused a disaster on the planet, killing all life and vegetation on the planet's surface. The Federation prohibited experiments with polaric ions in 2268.
Polaron beamBeam of polaron particles. Primary beam weapon used by the Dominion. The Borg use polaron beams for scanning. The Swarm uses polaron beams to set the shielding of a ship at a rotating modulation, which makes a ship a lot easier to detect. They also use it as a lattice, connecting each ship with each other.
Polaron torpedoesProjectiles using polaron particles as an energy source in the warhead. Primary torpedo weapon used by the Dominion and The Order.
Portal Portals are like wormholes, gateways to other parts of the Galaxy allowing nearly instantious traval which could take years at high warp. Portals were designed and built by Iconians, whom also built smaller personal sized portals. Positronic Brain - Neural network type employed as central processing units for androids of the Soong series and Provoc race. The the brain is made up of a positronic network which allows rapid processing of information. It is an extremely complicated piece of engineering and is very difficult to recreate.
Primary hull Another name for the saucer section on a starship and starbase. Probe - Device fitted with a number of general purpose or mission specific sensors that can be launched from a starship for closer examination of celestial objects or for reconnaissance. Most Federation probes are about the size of a photon torpedo, and some of them actually use a torpedo casing. Probes are a logical consequence considering that the resolution of the built-in long-range sensors is limited and that there is a signal decay over long distances.
Prometheus Class The Prometheus class is small, comparable with the Intrepid class, and was commissioned in the late 24th century. Being used for escort and battle missions, ships of this class are equipped with regenerative shielding, an ablative armor similiar to that of the Defiant class and have an unique multi-vector attack separation capability, which is an advancement of the Galaxy class' saucer separation function. This experimental tactical device permits a separation into several autonomous ships followed by the assault formation of the these single "parts".
Protomatter An unstable form of matter used by David Marcus as a short cut in the construction of the Genesis Device: because of the instability of protomatter, the Genesis Planet began to age geologically at an accelerated rate. The resurrected Spock-child also began to age very rapidly, allowing Spock to regain his katra at about the same age as he was when he died. Primary reactant in the Hellfire Torpedo
Protostar Very young star, still forming out of a nebula.
Pulse Phaser Cannon Phaser weapon used in Defiant, Raptor and Titan class starships as well as all Federation Fighters. This system takes a large amount of phased matter from warp or impulse engines, then it's bundled in a solid shell which fires rapidly at attackers. The pulse phaser cannon is more powerful than a conventional phaser.
  
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