Characteristics and history
Topaline, in its most stable form, has an atomic mass of 318, and was discovered by the Humans for the first time on Ganymede in the year 2021. This metal is part of the trans-uranic series of heavy elements. (ST reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)
In the 22nd and 23rd centuries, topaline was a highly-prized mineral by the Klingon Empire and the acquisition of the mineral led to several tense engagements with the United Federation of Planets, including Capella IV. (TOS episode & Star Trek 3 novelization: Friday's Child; TOS novel: First Strike)
The planet taD, conquered by the Empire in the mid 22nd century, was a key source of topaline. After the 2220s, however, the Klingons had discovered dozens of worlds rich in topaline, lessening taD's importance. (TNG novel: Diplomatic Implausibility)
In 2267, the United Federation of Planets main source of topaline on Altimara was running out, and Capella IV was viewed as the best replacement source. (TOS - Star Trek 3 novelization: Friday's Child)
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In real-life science, element 117 has yet to be positively discovered. A placeholder name based on its number, "ununseptium", has been suggested to document the possible synthesis of this substance. Some models of theoretical science have stated that heavy elements on this scale cannot exist in nature. Subspace science mentioned in Star Trek may account for the contradiction of this being a resource on other worlds.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 3 novelization: Friday's Child
- ST references: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual, The Worlds of the Federation
- TOS - Invasion! novel: First Strike
- TNG novel: Diplomatic Implausibility
- TNG - TLE novel: The Buried Age
- ST novels: Articles of the Federation, A Singular Destiny
- TOS novels: The Klingon Gambit, The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
- ST video game: Star Trek Online
- MU novel: Rise Like Lions
- VAN - Declassified short story: "The Ruins of Noble Men"
- ENT episode: "The Shipment"