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Corbomite (symbol Ct) is a chemical element, atomic number 140 on the periodic table.

Characteristics and history[]

Corbomite, in its most stable form, has an atomic mass of 361, and was discovered by Humans and the Federation for the first time on Starbase 27 in the year 2262. This element is part of the trans-uranic series of heavy metals. (ST reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)

In the same decade as its discovery, Captain James T. Kirk referred to the name of this element as a means of bluffing his way out of an enemy attack.

Kirk first devised the corbomite bluff in 2266 when the USS Enterprise encountered the First Federation starship, Fesarius. In order to escape destruction by Commander Balok, Kirk claimed that corbomite was a material that was placed on the hull of a Federation starship and would create an equally destructive force that was perpetrated on the vessel. Commander Balok was convinced by Kirk's bluff and he called off the destruction of the Enterprise. (TOS episode: "The Corbomite Maneuver"; WizKids module: Attack Wing)

In 2267, Kirk used the corbomite bluff in order to escape from the Romulan Neutral Zone and several Romulan warships, after Commodore George Stocker took the Enterprise into the zone as a shortcut to Starbase 10. The bluff also worked on the Romulans and the Enterprise escaped destruction. (TOS episode: "The Deadly Years")

In 2285, Kirk told a lie to Astrid Ericsson that an alien race known as the Corbomites attacked the United Federation of Planets and menaced the entire quadrant. He claimed that they were faster, stronger and smarter than regular Humans, and they needed Khan's genetically engineered intelligence to help them. (ST novel: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh)

In the 2370s, Lieutenant Commanders' Geordi La Forge and Data were working on developing a shield system that would repel enemy weapons and redirect them to the attacking vessel, exactly as Kirk's imaginary application of corbomite had been suggested to do. This system became known as the corbomite reflector and by 2376, the device was installed aboard the USS Enterprise-E and several other Sovereign-class starships. (TNG video games: Armada, Armada II, ST novel: Preserver)

See also[]

  • corbomite reflector



In real-life science, element 140 has yet to be discovered. A placeholder name based on its number, "unquadnilium", has been suggested to document the possible existence of this substance. Some models of theoretical science have stated that heavy elements on this scale may be impossible to synthesize or reproduce, and cannot exist in nature. Subspace science mentioned in Star Trek may account for the contradiction of this being possible in future situations.


External link[]