How Do Star Trek’s Deflector Shields Work? (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)

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Star Trek gave us the now sci-fi space standard of deflector shields, but how do they work? Kyle makes it so on this week’s Because Science!

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Artist: Andrew Bowser

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Nerdist says:

How powerful are photon torpedoes? NEW mini-ep over on my Insta: — KH

b1uezer says:

Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder why starships don't use kinetic weaponry if they know practically every ship has the counter to plasma/particle weaponry? Kinetic weaponry would be so devastating.

gallantcp says:

so how do you stop a neutron bomb?

Gaurish Shirodkar says:

Kyle how dose flash breath while he is running. Or how characters with super speed or phase shifting do the same. Same goes for the once who shrink down small

Dean Cefola says:

Kyle….Great video…however I think you need to make a slight correction…Star Trek makes a distinction in the deflector and shields. This goes back to Gene Rod. The deflector is a cone of energy which is shot out in a beam in the path of the ship to DEFLECT items out of the path of the ship so you don’t explode when colliding with space dust at 10 times the speed of light while SHIELDS function as you depicted in this video.

I understand how other shows refer to these shields as deflector shields I.e. the Star Wars empower in return of the Jedi “oh, i’m afraid that deflector shields will be quite operational when your friends arrive”

But Star Trek refers to the deflector differently
And just to be clear I am not hating on ST or SW they are both awesome, just different

so no big deal just trying to be as accurate as possible

Frankenstein077 says:

Someone doesn't know their Star Trek Techno-babel. Deflector shields are a Star Wars thing. In Star Trek, shields and deflectors are very different things. Shields envelope and protect a ship. Deflectors are a cone of energy projected in front of the ship to deflect any small asteroids or debris out of the way of the ship as it moves.

Danime says:

So now my question is……..if we know already kind of good how this kind of shields work……..why don´t we build them already to protect space probes for example?

One could say: because it would be too expensive…….well….maybe…..but we could do tests with them in space to learn how to create even better shields, which could save our butts if we run into some alien-ship some day. Or we could use them some day when mankind wants to travel far distances in space without the fear of cosmic radiation slowly making us into mutants (which could be cool if we become some kind of X-Men)

Conor Brennan says:

Is spinning actually a good trick?

Deмøø says:

Do a video on Luffy from One Piece on how his abilities shouldn't work!

Aaron Kenyon says:

what about when the shields stops physical projectiles like torpedoes

peter kruit says:


Mahmoud Elgassier says:


BatPrins says:

Wait wouldnt tht also make their own plasma weapons miss all their shots cuz it would curve back words as it fires🤔

RGP B says:

This show is trying so hard…needs better writing/hosting

Rowan McMullan says:

So how would you defend against physical armaments? 'Cause a well placed conventional missile could easily take out a few decks

Randall says:

How does the shielded ship use their weapons?

Patrick Knowles says:

there wasn't enough lens flare for me in this episode 🙂

A Disfigurement Where My Head Is The Sun says:

Hey Kyle!
Could you do a video on Discoverys new spore drive? I just love the idea – and I actually like this updated, more adult Star Trek WAAAAY more then anything that came before 🙂

Brandon Reed says:

Seriously. Do a video on the dragon taking down the wall in GOT

Raven Rain says:

Is it possible in Star Wars and other sci-fi that the ships generate atmospheric bubbles around themselves? This would explain how the ships can maneuver in space the way they do and how a ship can explode when destroyed. Also this feature would serve as a backup to keep the crew alive in case of a hull breach.

Slavir Nabru says:

Every scifi ship has some version of deflector shields? The Battlestar Galactica and Andromeda Ascendant jump to mind, I don't recall them existing in Firefly or the Expanse either.

Karl Singh says:

Kyle, is it possible for the Earth to produce its own original magnetic, electric field? And if so, will it be similar to the ozone layer or the plasma layer you are referring to?

tristen dodder says:

Since in the shows the shields go down, do the magnetic fields go down after being hit by the beams in real life?

Kaneki Ken / Sam Sam says:

Do one on how binding the physical strength of one person into another effectively enhancing the latter phyical capabilities.

Also could you explain how having 9 users of one for all give Deku such an increase in strength to superhuman levels, like i believe is just like 9 people punching at once how tf would that form a shockwave/ wind pressure that would obliterate more than 6 apartment floors?.

Also if you can, could you explain how fast luffy circulatory system would have to be going in order to emut steam and cause redness/purpleness of the skin.

CalvinsCornerMan03 says:

please do science behind call of duty zombies element 115 🙂

Stanford says:


Oninoni says:


xXGrimRiverXx says:

Wouldn't solid slugs made of super dense tungsten carbide shot from railguns punch right through shields rendering shields only useful against energy based weapons?

StealthLava says:

The deflector shields can also block solid objects. They are also able to block direct torpedo hits/explosions. So the question is: Are they even possible at all?

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