Hephrene is the main component and resource for much of the sophisticated technologies of the Alliance. In particular, it makes superluminal interstellar travel to be possible. The largest deposit of Hephrene in the galaxy surveyed is the gas giant Gaulrr
If to speak directly, Hephrene violates the laws of physics, among other properties, storing in itself much more potential energy than ordinary matter. By mechanical properties, it is an inert gas that does not become liquid even at temperatures close to absolute zero and high pressure. Nevertheless, Hephrene has an abnormally large mass, a liter of gas that under standard conditions has a mass of 960 grams. Its physical properties allow it to be used in two technology branches - the ability to create FTL tunnels and the generation of energy. When placing Hephrene in a hypergenerator circuit and supplying electricity to it, the gas acquires the properties of a liquid and also begins to bend space-time, forming wormholes, which is the basis of interstellar flights. Hephrene, having a much higher energy density per unit volume than any known substance, does not fit into the formula E=mc², which makes it the main source of Alliance energy, rapidly displacing both thermonuclear reactors and reactors on antimatter. In addition to a higher energy output per unit volume, the reactors on the Hephrene allow their execution in a miniature version, in contrast to thermonuclear reactors and even more so to reactors on antimatter, despite the fact that the reduction in size leads to some deterioration in the efficiency of the reactor. The smallest models have a diameter of ~ 10 cm, and are capable of producing 30 watts of energy for one and a half months. Another important property of hephrene reactors is a lack of significant radiation emissions during whrk, which makes them quite safe to operate without the need for heavy radiation shielding.
The most advanced models of the reactors possess a reclamation subsystem based on one of the Ancient's artifacts. It somehow converts the thermal radiation back into energy stored inside Hephrene, which reduces the rate of the fuel use to only one tenth of the usual, and basically eliminates most of the heat emitted by the reactor and other ship systems. The system cannot be scaled down however, and installed only on large enough reactors, typically for main and heavy spaceships.
There is almost a one hundred percent correlation between finding large stocks of Hephrene along with finding the artifacts of the Ancients nearby. Most likely. the Hephrene was also an important part of the technology of the Ancients. Some hypotheses suggest that hephrene was created by the Ancients, since its physical properties are still not explained - despite the fact that the goal of production of synthetic hephrene is the most important and largest area of scientific research.
Since Hephrene is an absolutely non-renewable and widely used resource, it is the most valuable substance in the Alliance.
|Leaving the Cradle | The Cliff World|
|Organizations||Alliance | Independent Worlds | Science Corporation | Politics|
|Technologies||Hephrene | Interstellar Travel | Spaceships|
|Places||Planet Harr (Star Harr) | "Shining" Space station | "Dawn" class spaceships | Artifact X|
|Characters||Gharr | Zane | Hekaht | Ahshu | Quantum | Nea | Dan | Mark | Val | ! Virus|
|Events||! Overall chronology|
|Further reading: | Civilization development stages | Instruments | Ideas ||